Juvenile Offender Hossein Haghi Spared from Execution

Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Hossein Haghi, a teenager sentenced to death on February 8, 2004 by the Criminal Court, was spared from execution by the victim´s family.
Hossein Haghi was accused of murder in August 2003. His lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei stated:
On August 12, 2003 at 7:40pm, police officers from precinct 108 while on their daily patrolling duty witnessed two young men running away by a group of people chasing them.
The officers arrested the two young men Hossein Haghi and Amrollah T. Another friend was also arrested by one of the business owners in the neighbourhood. The officers discovered that there was a clash between the arrested young men and a group of people. A man by the name of Mehdi Khalili had been hit with a sharp object in the chest, and as a result, he was killed.
On February 8, 2004, the court sentenced Hossein Haghi to Qesas (death penalty) for the murder of Mehdi Khalili. Branch 27 of the Supreme Court upheld the sentence on June 25, 2004.
Later, Hossein Haghi and his lawyer appealed the sentence. On February 9, 2009, Branch 71 of Tehran’s Criminal Court sentenced Hossein to death and the sentence was once again upheld by the Supreme court.
Eventually, however, Mehdi Khalili’s family (the vicitm) forgave Hossein in retun for the purchase of a house that will be used as a Hosseinieh.
(Translator’s note: According to Islamic law practiced in Iran, the family of the victim of murder or voluntary manslaughter has the right to either Qesas, execution, or to forgive the victim in return for blood money or some other type of compensation).
In a statement, Human Rights Watch protested the death penalty for individuals who commit a crime under 18 years of age. Part of the statement states:
The death penalty for juvenile offenders who commit a crime while under the age of 18 is against international law and the ban is absolute.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Political and Civil Rights have specifically banned execution for those who commit a crime under the age of 18. These laws reflect the fact that children and juveniles are different from adults since they lack experience, judgement, maturity, and other adult discretions. Iran approved the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Political and Civil Rights in 1994 and 1975 respectively.
Translation by: Sia Bala Persian2English.com


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