Iran: Another Execution of Juvenile Offender

(New York) – Iran hanged juvenile offender Behnoud Shojaie on October 12, 2009, despite an unequivocal international ban on such executions, and an initial pardon by the victim’s family, Human Rights Watch said today. Shojaie, now 21, was executed for a killing that he committed in 2005, when he was 17 years old.

The father and mother of the victim, Ehsan Nasrollahi, implemented the punishment themselves at Evin prison, despite their initial pardon.

“The Iranian Judiciary’s enthusiasm to execute juvenile offenders despite its international obligations and objections in Iran itself to such brutal acts is shocking,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “This is a callous affront to basic human dignity.”

Iranian government officials arranged for Shojaie’s execution despite a stay of execution issued by Sadegh Ardeshir Larijani, Iran’s new head of the Judiciary, on August 19. According to his lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, Shojaie had walked to the noose six times since the Supreme Court upheld his sentence in 2007, with a last minute reprieve on each occasion.

Shojaie killed Ehsan Nasrollahi during a fight in 2005, when he was 17 years old. He testified during his trial that Nasrollahi intended to attack him with a knife and he defended himself with a piece of broken glass. Shojaie’s attorneys said in his defense during the trial that their client had committed involuntary ma… >>>

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