[Deathpenalty] Urgent Action Needed for 19 Year Old Woman Sentenced to Death in Iran (First Update to UA 04/06)
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Aug 1 21:25:18 UTC 2006
URGENT ACTION APPEAL
01 August 2006
Further Information on 04/06 (06 January 2006)
Death penalty/ legal concern
IRAN Delara Darabi (f), aged 19, child offender
Delara Darabi, has reportedly been sentenced to death for a
second time after her case was retried. She is at risk of
imminent execution for a murder which took place when she
was 17 years old.
Delara Darabi was initially sentenced to death by a lower
court in the northern city of Rasht, and according to press
reports, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence.
However, new reports suggested that the sentence was
rejected in January 2006 by Branch 33 of the Supreme Court
and that her case was sent for retrial. It is unclear
whether Delara Darabi was retried by Branch 107 of the
Special Court for Children or the General Court in Rasht.
However, following two trial sessions in January 2006 and on
15 June, Delara Darabi was reportedly sentenced to death
(qesas or retribution).
According to reports Delara Darabi and a 19-year-old man
named Amir Hossein broke into a woman's house to commit a
burglary. Amir Hossein allegedly killed the woman during the
burglary. Delara Darabi initially confessed to the murder,
but subsequently retracted her confession. She claims that
Amir Hossein asked her to admit responsibility for the
murder to protect him from execution, believing that as she
was under the age of 18, she could not be sentenced to
death. Iran is a state party to international treaties that
expressly prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes
committed by those under the age of 18.
As a state party to the International Convention on Civil
and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the
Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran has undertaken not to
execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under
the age of 18. Despite this, since 1990 Iran has executed at
least 18 people for crimes committed when they were
In January 2005 the United Nations Committee on the Rights
of the Child urged Iran to suspend the practice immediately.
Nevertheless at least eight child offenders were executed
that year, including two who were still under 18 at the time
of their execution. On 13 May, Iran carried out the first
known execution of a child offender in 2006. An unnamed 17-
year-old male was executed by hanging, along with an unnamed
20-year old male, in Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan
province. According to reports, they had been sentenced to
death for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old boy.
Children are still being sentenced to death in Iran. On 3
January, 18-year-old Nazanin was sentenced to death for
murder by a criminal court, after she reportedly admitted
stabbing to death one of three men who attempted to rape her
and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj in March 2005.
She was 17 at the time. (See Iran: Amnesty International
calls for end to death penalty for child offenders, MDE
13/005/2006, 16 January 2006). At the end of May the Supreme
Court rejected the death sentence against Nazanin,
reportedly on the instructions of the Head of the Judiciary,
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. The case will
reportedly be retried in August and sent to a lower court
for further investigation.
In March 18-year-old Mehdi was reportedly sentenced to death
for killing a man in Robat Karim, Tehran Province about two
years previously, when he was aged either 16 or 17. His
brother was imprisoned for his involvement in the killing.
A man known only as Mohammad was sentenced to death by
Branch 71 of Tehran's Criminal Court, for a murder
reportedly committed when he was 16. He had originally been
sentenced by a Children's Court to five years' imprisonment
and the payment of blood money. However, two years later,
when he reached the age of 18, the Supreme Court announced
that he had reached the age of majority and could now be
tried in a criminal court, which sentenced him to death.
When the sentence came before it for approval in April 2006,
the Supreme Court rejected it on the basis that the crime
was committed when he was under the age of 18.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly
- urging the authorities to commute the death sentence
imposed on Delara Darabi immediately;
- reminding the authorities of their commitment to the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which
states that 'sentence of death shall not be imposed for
crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age';
- asking for details of her trial and any appeals;
- expressing concern at reports that Delara Darabi confessed
to the murder in order to protect her co-accused;
- calling on the Iranian authorities to implement the
recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the
Rights of the Child, which called on Iran in January 2005 to
'immediately suspend the execution of all death penalties
imposed on persons for having committed a crime before the
age of 18, and to abolish the death penalty as a sentence
imposed on persons for having committed crimes before the
age of 18, as required by article 37 of the Convention';
- acknowledging that governments have a responsibility to
bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences such
as murder, but stating your unconditional opposition to the
death penalty, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading
punishment and violation of the right to life.
Leader of the Islamic Republic:
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info at leader.ir / istiftaa at wilayah.org
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary:
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Please send emails via the feedback form on the
Persian site of the website:
(The text of the feedback form translates as:
1st line: name, 2nd line: email address, 3rd line: subject
heading, then enter your email into the text box)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Iran does not presently have an embassy in this country.
Instead, please send copies to:
Iranian Interests Section
2209 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 965 4990
Fax: 202 965 1073
Email: requests at daftar.org
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with Amnesty
International USA if sending appeals after 12 September.
This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including
contact information and stop action date (if applicable).
Thank you for your help with this appeal.
Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl
Washington DC 20003
Email: uan at aiusa.org
END OF URGENT ACTION APPEAL
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