Iran executes man arrested for murder as a minor after “manifestly unfair trial”

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Iran on Wednesday executed a man who was arrested for murder at the age of 17, justice said, despite calls by rights groups including Amnesty International to spare his life.

Arman Abdolali was executed at dawn in Rajai Shahr prison near Tehran, in accordance with eye-for-eye “qesas” justice demanded by the victim’s family, justice website Mizan Online reported.

Amnesty International called on Iran on 11 October to end the execution of the 25-year-old who was arrested in 2014 and later convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, Ghazaleh Shakour.

The London-based human rights group said he had been sentenced to death twice, but the execution was stopped each time following an international outcry.

He said Abdolali was first sentenced to death in December 2015 after “a manifestly unfair trial” by a court which “relied on” a “torture” confession after Shakour’s disappearance. last year.

He said Abdolali was sentenced to death again in 2020 in a retrial, where the court ruled that the teenager was responsible in the absence of evidence to the contrary, Amnesty reported.

“This young man was not a criminal,” said Hadi Sadeghi, a judicial official, quoted by Iranian media in October.

“Like the victim, he came from a respectable family. In prison, Arman continued his studies to obtain a master’s degree in education,” he said.

“The two families knew each other and the victim and the accused intended to marry,” Sadeghi added.

International reviews

Shakour’s body, who was 19 at the time of his disappearance, has never been found.

According to Mizan Online, the victim’s mother had said that she would forgive Abdolali if he revealed the location of his body.

UN human rights experts have also called on Iran to suspend the execution.

“International human rights law unequivocally prohibits imposing the death penalty on anyone under the age of 18,” said the Geneva-based Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Iran executed at least 246 people last year, retaining its place as the most prolific user of the death penalty in the region and the second in the world after China, according to Amnesty.

Iran has often been the subject of international criticism for executing people convicted of crimes committed as minors, in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by the Islamic Republic.

In July, a senior Iranian official told AFP that the Islamic Republic was doing its best to reduce the number of executions of child delinquents to zero.

“We are going to zero,” said Majid Tafreshi of the state-run High Council for Human Rights, insisting that it was the “will of the system” of the country.

(AFP)

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