Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff
INU - A young Iranian man who purportedly committed a crime when he was a juvenile is scheduled to be executed soon after April 1, when the 13-day Iranian New Year holiday period ends.

Iranians began their New Year on March 20 with the advent of spring. 

Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action on March 24 and urged for stopping the execution of the young man, Himan Uraminejad who is on death row. 

According to Amnesty International “Himan Uraminejad was sentenced to death in August 2012 after he was convicted of murder over the fatal stabbing of a boy during a fight, when he was 17. He is now aged 21, and on death row in Sanandaj’s Prison, western Kurdistan Province, where he has been told he will be executed after the Iranian New Year holiday period ends on 1 April.”

“He was retried in June 2015, and sentenced to death again. The retrial, before Branch 9 of the Provincial Criminal Court in Kurdistan Province, had been ordered by Iran’s Supreme Court in September 2014, based on new juvenile sentencing guidelines in Iran’s 2013 Islamic Penal Code. These allow courts to replace death sentences with alternatives if they determine that a juvenile offender had not understood the nature of the crime or its consequences, or there were doubts about their “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime. The court used this discretion to resentence Himan Uraminejad to death. In its ruling, the court ignored the absolute prohibition, in international law, on using the death penalty against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime, and the fundamental principles of juvenile justice that require all those under 18 years old be treated as children. Instead, it focused on Himan Uraminejad’s “mental health”, noting an official medical opinion from June 2015 that found no evidence of “a disorder at the time of the crime which would extinguish [the accused’s] criminal liability.” The court also referred to Himan Uraminejad’s statements confirming that he had no “mental illness or history of hospitalization.” This reasoning was confirmed by the Supreme Court in November 2015.”

Ahmad Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran released a 21 page report in which he noted that over the 10 year period between 2005 and 2015, at least 73 juvenile offenders were executed, in clear violation of international law and the provisions of two human rights documents that the Islamic Republic has signed.

According to Amnesty International “the judicial proceedings that led to Himan Uraminejad’s conviction were unfair. He admitted stabbing the victim during the interrogations, which were conducted without a lawyer present. He is believed to have been tortured while he was held in a police detention centre (agahi): this included severe beatings that apparently left scars and bruises all over his face and body. His trial was held before an adult court, without special juvenile justice protections. No investigation is known to have been carried out into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment.” 

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