An Iranian human rights lawyer has launched an appeal for money to help avert the executions of juvenile offenders in the Islamic Republic, saying $200,000 (121,000 pounds) could spare the lives of four young people now on death row.
Under Iran’s Islamic law, sharia, the family of a murder victim can pardon the convicted killer in exchange for financial compensation, so-called blood money, although they can also refuse it and demand the death penalty. For most people in Iran it would be difficult to raise the amount needed on their own.
Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile criminals since 1990, according to rights groups which say Saudi Arabia and Yemen are the only other countries to put juveniles to death. Iran says it carries out the death penalty only when a prisoner reaches 18.
“Right now a few of my clients who committed crimes when they were under 18 are awaiting execution … By collecting 200 million tomans ($200,000), you can save the lives of three to four youngsters,” lawyer Mohammad Mostafaie said on his website.