December 22, 2015

Urgent Action Update: Man Arrested At 17 Faces Imminent Execution (Iran: UA 296/15)

The execution of Hamid Ahmadi, an Iranian man arrested when he was just 17 years old, has been rescheduled for 18 February. He continues to be held in solitary confinement in Lakan prison in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, further exacerbating his mental anguish.
The family of Hamid Ahmadi has been informed that his execution has been rescheduled for 18 February. The execution was initially scheduled for 4 February but the authorities postponed it by a week to 11 February. Following mounting international pressure, on 9 February, the Office for the Implementation of Sentences informed his family that his execution had again been postponed and that they had 10 days within which to obtain a pardon from the family of the deceased, the young man whom Hamid Ahmadi was convicted of fatally stabbing in 2008. Hamid Ahmadi was moved to solitary confinement in Rasht’s Lakan prison, Gilan Province, on 28 January, in preparation for his execution. Though his execution has been postponed twice in two weeks, the authorities have yet to move him back into a general ward. This is the fifth time that Hamid Ahmadi has been scheduled to be executed and subjected to the mental anguish of being kept in solitary confinement while he awaits his execution. The Supreme Court has still not communicated a decision regarding his application for retrial to his lawyers.
Hamid Ahmadi, now 26, was first sentenced to death in August 2009 following an unfair trial before Branch 11 of the Provincial Criminal Court of Gilan Province, in connection with the fatal stabbing of a young man during a fight among a group of boys in 2008. The court relied on “confessions” he had made at the police station after his arrest, when he did not have access to a lawyer or his family. He has said that the “confessions” were obtained under torture. He says that police officers held him for three days in a filthy, urine-stained cell; tied his hands and feet together and pushed him face down on the cell floor; tied him to a pole in the yard; kicked his genitals; and denied him food and water. He has said that the pain inflicted on him was so severe that he was willing to confess to anything to end it. The authorities are not known to have investigated his torture allegations.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Urging the Iranian authorities to immediately halt any plans to execute Hamid Ahmadi, and immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;
  • Urging them to ensure his conviction and sentence are quashed and he is granted a fair retrial in accordance with the principles of juvenile justice, without resort to the death penalty, in particular ensuring that no statements obtained through torture or other ill-treatment or without the presence of his lawyer are admitted as evidence;
  • Calling them to ensure that his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment are investigated and that those responsible are held to account in trials that meet international fair trial standards;
  • Urging them to amend Article 91 of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code to completely abolish, without any discretion by the courts or other exceptions, the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18, in line with Iran’s obligations under international law.

Contact these two officials by 27 March, 2017:

The Office of the Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
Office of the Supreme Leader
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (212) 867-7086
Phone: (212) 687-2020
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Salutation: Your Excellency
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