Iranian Judiciary Hangs Minor, Provides Unprecedented Justification

On Wednesday morning, the Iranian Judiciary hanged a minor for the murder of Iranian athlete Rouhollah Dadashi. Alireza Mollasoltani, who was not yet 18, had confessed to stabbing and murdering Dadashi with a knife. The public execution took place at 4:30 a.m. in Golshahr, Karaj, near Tehran. Though human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the Iranian Judiciary’s execution of individuals under the age of 18, it is common for the Iranian Judiciary to keep convicts in prison until they turn 18 and then carry out their death sentences. Mollasoltani’s execution, however, was carried out even though he was a few months shy of 18.

Moments after the public hanging, Ali Rezvanmanesh, the Prosecutor’s Representative present at the execution, talked to Fars News Agency, justifying the execution of a minor by saying that the basis for determination of a convict’s age is not the the 365-day Iranian solar calendar, but the 355-day Arabic lunar calendar. “The determining factor in the law is the individual’s maturity according to Sharia, which is based on lunar calendar months. In this sense, the murderer had lived more than 18 years and therefore there existed no Sharia or legal impediments to carrying out the Qisas [retribution] against him. Of course, Alireza Mollasoltani was two months under the age of 18 according to solar months; [but] it is clear that the determining factor in the law is not the solar age, and we act according to Sharia-based matur… >>>

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