Juvenile Offender Arman Abdolali in Imminent Danger of Execution in Rajai Shahr Prison

Arman Abdolali, who was previously sentenced to death for a murder charge from when he was a child, is in imminent danger of execution in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, despite his denial of having committed the crime, and despite the fact that the victim’s body was never found, the criminal court of Tehran Province sentenced Abdolali to death. The verdict was upheld twice by the supreme court of Iran.

Abdolali was reportedly transferred to a solitary confinement cell, as is the protocol for inmates on death row in the days before their execution, yesterday. In July of this year, his lawyer had informed about the forwarding Abdolali’s case to the Executive Branch of Tehran Criminal Court.

“Iran continues to use the death penalty for crimes committed by people under the age of 18, in violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Amnesty International expressed in a statement, calling for Iranian authorities to halt Abdolali’s execution.

In 2013, when he was underage, Arman Abdolali was indicted on the charge of murdering his girlfriend, Ghazaleh Shakur. During interrogation, he confessed to killing her but later on, he denied the charges and pleaded his innocence.

After the first confirmation of the sentence, Abdolali’s lawyer claimed him as innocent and asked for a retrial, which was granted by the Supreme Court of Iran. In the second retrial, the death sentence was upheld after six months both by the Supreme Court of Iran and thereafter by an appellate court.

Husband Confesses to Murder of 14-Year-Old Mobina Souri

Five days after news broke of the death of 14-year-old Mobina Souri, her husband confessed to having committed the murder. Souri is the victim of  what is classified under Islamic Law as an “honor killing”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, “honor crimes” or “honor killings” are acts of assault or murder, usually towards women and usually committed by male relatives.

Under Islamic Law, in murder cases where the (usually-female) victim has been accused of “disgracing the family’s honor”, exemptions and sentence reductions are frequently granted to the murderers.

The scope of the ways “disgracing family honor” can be defined is extremely broad; women and girls can be accused for being victims of rape, getting a divorce (even from an abusive husband), committing adultery, or being suspected of having sexual relations before marriage.

14-year-old Mobina was also a victim of child marriage and was married to the young cleric in her village who ultimately killed her. The other suspects were released after the husband confessed.

 

14-Year-Old Mobina Murdered in Lorestan in what Islamic Penal Code Classifies as “Honor Killing”

On Monday, August 30, 14-year-old Mobina, who was from the Suri area of Lorestan Province was murdered by a family member in what is classified under Islamic Law as an “honor killing”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, Mobina was the victim of a child marriage who was married to a young cleric in her village. She was murdered after relatives presumed she had an affair.

Under Islamic Law, in murder cases where the (usually-female) victim has been accused of  “disgracing the family’s honor”, exemptions and sentence reductions are frequently granted to the murderers.

“The murder happened due to family disputes, and the accused has been identified and arrested,” said the Lorestan police chief. “He is one of the relatives of the victim.”

“Honor crimes” or “honor killings” are acts of assault or murder, usually towards women and usually committed by male relatives.

The scope of the ways “disgracing family honor” can be defined is extremely broad; women can be accused for being victims of rape, getting a divorce (even from an abusive husband), committing adultery, or even just having sexual relations before marriage.

Dizelabad Prison Authorities Execute Juvenile Offender Sajad Sanjari Without Notifying Family

At dawn on Monday, August 2, Sajad Sanjari was executed in Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah. His family was not notified or allowed to visit him before the execution.

According HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Amnesty International, Sanjari was arrested in 2010 at the age of 15 on murder charges and sentenced to death.

Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, stated, “With the secret execution of Sajad Sanjari, the Iranian authorities have yet again demonstrated the utter cruelty of their juvenile justice system. The use of the death penalty against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime is absolutely prohibited under international law and constitutes a cruel assault on child rights.”

In December 2016, the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the authorities of the Islamic Republic to suspend the execution of Sajad Sanjari, a juvenile accused of murder.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Recently, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, Secretary of the state-run High Council for Human Rights, Majid Tafreshi, said that the Islamic Republic executes juvenile offenders “three to four times a year”, and claimed this should not be considered a human rights violation.

“The fact that Sajad Sanjari was executed in secret, denying his family and him even the chance to say goodbye, is an alarming pattern of the Iranian authorities carrying out executions in secret or at short notice to minimize the chances of public and private interventions to save people’s lives” Eltahawy further stated of Sanjari’s execution. “We urge the Iranian authorities to put an end to these abhorrent violations of the right to life and children’s rights by amending the penal code to ban the use of the death penalty against anyone who was under 18 at the time of the crime immediately.”

Juvenile Offenders Hossein Shahbazi and Arman Abdol Ali at Urgent Risk of Execution as Amnesty International Calls for Suspension of their Sentences

Amnesty International has issued a statement calling on Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of the judiciary of Iran, to suspend the death sentences of juvenile offenders Hossein Shahbazi and Arman Abdol Ali.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Tasnim, Hossein Shahbazi was arrested on charges of murder in December 2018 when he was less than 18 years old and was sentenced to death a year later by a criminal court in Fars Province. The verdict was approved by the Supreme Court. Shahbazi is being held in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Arman Abdol Ali was previously sentenced to death by the Tehran Criminal Court for murder and the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. The lawyer of the victim’s parents announced that the case of Arman Abdol Ali is being sent to the Judgment Execution Unit of the Tehran Criminal Court.

The death sentence of Arman Abdol Ali, which was originally scheduled to be carried out in January 2017, was stopped after the parents of the victim gave Arman a month to respond to the suspicions in this case.

Arman Abdol Ali has been accused of killing his girlfriend Ghazaleh Shakur in 2013 when he was less than 18 years old.

According to the HRANA annual report for the year 2020, at least 4 juvenile offenders were executed in Iran last year, and 2 other juvenile offenders have been sentenced to death.

Recently, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, Secretary of the state-run High Council for Human Rights, Majid Tafreshi, said that the Islamic Republic executes juvenile offenders “three to four times a year”, and claimed this should not be considered a human rights violation.

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210,000 Students Were not Enrolled in the 2020-2021 Academic Year, Deputy Minister for Primary Education Says

210,000 students were, for various reasons, unable to attend school in the 2020-2021 academic year.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Student News Network, Deputy Minister for Primary Education Rezvan Hakimzadeh announced that 210,000 students were not enrolled in school for the duration of this academic year.

The Deputy Minister has laid out these numbers despite promises from the Interior Ministry last week to address the discrepancy by issuing new letters.

As the registration deadline for the upcoming school year approaches, Afghan immigrants are continuing to experience obstructions from the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs.

“Even children of families who are illegally in Iran can receive an educational support card from the governorates,” Hakimzadeh said, “and start studying after enrolling in school.”

Father Legally Bars 12-year-old Daughter From Attending World Equestrian Championship Abroad

12-year-old athlete Sara Pour-Azima was barred from participating in the World Equestrian Championships because her father legally banned her from leaving the country.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pour-Azima was scheduled to leave for Russia his week with the rest of her team.

Mehrdad Mehravin, the lawyer of Sara’s mother, said the young athlete’s parents are currently embroiled in a legal battle regarding alimony, and that the father’s move to ban Sara from travel was part of an ongoing dispute with Sara’s mother. Sara reportedly found out that she had been barred from travel to the Championships upon arriving at the airport.

Given the importance of the trip in the athlete’s success and future, legal action was taken to obtain permission from the prosecutor so that Sarah could travel, but legal authorities did not ultimately issue an allowance for her to leave the country.

In Iran, before getting married, women need the legal permission of a father or paternal grandfather to leave the country, and the permission of a husband after marriage.

16-Year-Old Girl Killed by Father in Kermanshah

On Sunday, July 4, 16-year-old Shakiba Bakhtiar was stabbed to death by her father after coming home late in Kermanshah.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Iran Human Rights (IHR), Iranian law provides for exemptions for those who commit “honor killings”.

It is notable that according to the Islamic Penal Code, a father who kills his child is sentenced to fines and imprisonment, not execution, if convicted in court.

In some cases, fathers have killed their children after learning that under the Islamic Penal Code, a father cannot be executed for the murder of his own child.

Some experts say that the discrimination and weakness of the law has an impact on the frequency of these murders.

 

Three Inmates Including a Juvenile Offender Executed in Urmia Prison Despite Pleas from Amnesty International

At dawn on Sunday, July 4, three prisoners, one of whom was a juvenile offender, were executed in Urmia Prison despite Amnesty International’s pleas for the execution to be halted.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the three prisoners, who had previously been sentenced to death for murder, were transferred to solitary confinement the day before the sentence was carried out.

HRANA has confirmed the identities of the three prisoners as juvenile offender Baha-al-din Ghasemzadeh, Baha-al-din’s brother, Davood Ghasemzadeh, a native of the Salmas, and  Anwar Abdollahi, a native of Mahabad City in West Azerbaijan Province.

HRANA previously reported on the deteriorating physical condition of the two imprisoned brothers in June of 2018. The Gasemzadeh brothers were executed this Sunday even though Baha al-din was a child at the time of his arrest, and Davood had severe spinal cord injuries from beatings sustained during his detention.

Recently, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, Secretary of the state-run High Council for Human Rights, MajidTafreshi, said that the Islamic Republic executes juvenile offenders “three to four times a year”, and claimed this should not be considered a human rights violation.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1st and December 20th of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed. One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

“Iranian authorities must immediately stop the execution of Baha al-din Ghasemzadeh,” Amnesty International tweeted the day before the execution took place.  “The imposition of the death penalty on those who were children at the time of the crime is a gross violation of Iran’s international rights and obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Chahardangeh Head of Education says 20% of the District’s School Buildings are Unsafe

The Head of Education in Chahardangeh, one of the six districts of Sari city in Mazandaran Province, recently commented on the effects that authorities’ infrastructural negligence have had on the area.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Chahardangeh suffers from poor roads, water shortages, healthcare, and waste disposal, besides the lack of proper educational facilities for students in this area.

Chahardangeh Head of Education Hamed Khalili said that 20 percent of the district’s schools have unsafe buildings in the district and that three of the schools’ classrooms in the villages of Peshert, Elyerd, and Vestmin are mobile temporary classrooms.

Several schools in this section also need to be demolished and some need building reinforcements.

Khalili stressed the lack of proper educational facilities, worn-out buildings, and the living problems of students in the area. He further said that students’ lives could be endangered by natural disasters such as earthquakes if repairs are not made soon.