HRANA News Agency – With issuing of another death sentence for a juvenile offender in Sanandaj Prison, the number of prisoners who are sentenced to death for an offence they have committed while being a juvenile, has rose to 5.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a juvenile offender (K.N) imprisoned at Sanandaj Prison, who at the time of crime was 17 years and 9 months old, was sentenced to death by retaliation in kind (Qisas) for murder.
One of K.N’s relatives has told HRANA’s reporter: “He was born in May 1997. In a group brawl, he has killed a person he didn’t know at all. He was only 17 years and 9 months old when he committed the crime.”
He added: “A public lawyer was assigned for him, and was not even sent to forensics to be tested for cognitive and psychosocial developments. In October 2015, after the first trial presided by judge Hamed Soltan-Bakhsh at branch number 1 of the criminal court of Sanandaj, he has been sentenced to Qisas (retaliation in kind), however this sentence was disclosed to him with a delay just recently.”
It is worth mentioning that there are currently four more juvenile offenders imprisoned in Sanandaj Prison, who have been arrested and sentenced to death. All of these four juvenile prisoners have been charged with murder. Below is the previously gathered reports of HRANA on the identity and age at the time of murder or arrest of these prisoners:
Yousef Mohammadi, born in 1995, age at the time of arrest: 14, sentenced to death
Himan Orami-Nejhad, born in 1997, age at the time of arrest: 17 years and 9 months, year in which the crime was committed: 2011, sentenced to death
Siavash Mahmoudi, born in 1995, age at the time of arrest: 17, sentence to death, Note: he has claimed that the murder was the result of a self-defense against sexual assault.
Amanj Hosseini (Oveisi), age at the time of arrest: 17, sentenced to death
It should be noted, offenders under 18 are considered as juveniles according to human right treaties, and the legal punishment of a juvenile in Iran including death penalty for crimes such as brawl, murder, drug trafficking etc., has always been a major challenge and violation of human rights In Iran.
Iran’s action is in contrast with its obligation to the international covenant on civil and political rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Iran along with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Sudan are the only countries that still continue to execute minors. In recent years Iran’s judicial system detains the juvenile offenders that are sentenced to death at correctional centers and executes them only after they reach the age of 18.
In 2013, after the reforms to the Islamic penal code, the death penalty for juvenile offenders is subjected to the offender’s ability to understand and realize the nature of the committed crime. However recently Fatemeh Salbehi who had been sentenced to death for committing murder under the age of 18, was reconvicted for murder after the retrial on the grounds that at the time of the murder she has been aware of the nature of the crime, and her sentence was executed. The execution of Fatemeh Salbehi has once again raised the concerns regarding the execution of juvenile offenders in Iran.