Amnesty International Announces Imminent Danger of Juvenile Offender Hossein Shahbazi’s Execution

Amnesty International announced the imminent danger of the execution of juvenile offender Hossein Shahbazi, currently on death row in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Amnesty said in a statement, “Part of the evidence against the juvenile offender includes confessions obtained through torture”. The statement calls on Iranian authorities to suspend the death sentence and to provide a fair retrial in full compliance with juvenile delinquency principles.

According to the statement, Hossein Shahbazi was sentenced to death by Branch 3 of the Criminal Court of a Fars province, and the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2020.

Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa office, Diana Elthawy, commented on Shabazi’s sentence.

“Iran’s authorities must immediately halt the execution of Hossein Shahbazi scheduled for June 28,” Elthawy said. “Using the death penalty against someone who was a child at the time of the crime is prohibited under international human rights law and violates Iran’s international obligations. Going ahead with this execution would be an abhorrent assault on children’s rights and would make an absolute mockery of justice.”

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

“The Iranian authorities must quash Hossein Shahbazi’s conviction and sentence and grant him a fair retrial in full compliance with the principles of juvenile justice, without resorting to coerced ‘confessions’ the death penalty,” Elthawy stated. “We also urgently call on the international community, including UN bodies and the EU and its member states, to intervene to save this young man’s life.”



Afkari Brothers Denied Medical Care Amidst Ongoing Torture in Adelabad Prison

Political prisoners Vahid and Habib Afkari have been denied medical care during their 9 month detention in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz. During this time, they have been repeatedly beaten and tortured by prison officials attempting to force confessions related to their role in the 2018 nationwide protests.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the brothers are being held in the Ebrat ward, also known as the “closed ward” of the prison.

The inmates and their family repeatedly requested to be transferred to a political prison, but despite the prosecutor’s promise, authorities have thwarted all efforts to make the move happen. Saeed Afkari has commented on the condition of his imprisoned brothers.

“According to medical jurisprudence, my brother Habib suffered a broken toe, a non-welded wrist fracture, and a torn shoulder during his detention,” Saeed said. “My other brother Vahid suffered neck and arm injuries as a result of a suicide attempt in protest of physical and mental torture. They have been in solitary confinement for 279 days and have not been allowed treatment.”

In mid-September 2020, the two political prisoners were transferred to the Ebrat ward (closed ward), a detention center for prisoners deprived of phone contact. After nearly nine months, they are still being held in this ward of Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

Based on prison regulations and laws, definitive convicts should only be held in public wards under the supervision of the Prisoners’ Organization. According to the same by-laws, keeping the accused in detention should be permitted only with a written order from the judicial authorities. Thus, keeping Habib and Vahid Afkari outside the public ward of the prison without a written order is against the law.

Navid Afkari, Vahid Afkari, and Habib Afkari were arrested in connection with the nationwide protests in 2018.

Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler, was executed at Adelabad Prison in Shiraz in September 2020 despite serious ambiguities in the case and a worldwide wave of support for him. Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 54 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes, Habib Afkari to 27 years and 3 months in prison and 74 lashes.