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.

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.”

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.”

 

 

Ali Arjangi, a Juvenile Offender on Death Row, Attempted Suicide in Ardabil Prison

On Saturday, June 12, Ali Arjangifard ghujeh Beiglou, a juvenile offender on death row, attempted suicide in Ardabil Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights (IHR), prison officials transferred him to the nearest hospital in Ardabil after the attempt. Beiglou is currently in critical condition in Fatemi hospital.

An informed source said, “Ali Arjangi attempted suicide by cutting part of his neck veins with the motive of ending his life before the execution.”

Ali Arjangi was arrested at the age of 17 on murder charges and has been held in the youth prison of Ardabil Central Prison since.

He was previously sentenced to death by Branch 3 of the Special Juvenile Court for murder, and the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. The verdict is said to have been issued following a forensic examination confirming his mental development.

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.