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Act now – stop child executions

April 22, 2009
Delara Darabi
Delara Darabi

Delara Darabi is at risk of execution for a murder which took place when she was 17 years old.

Even though Iran has signed up to international treaties that prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by those under the age of 18, eight juvenile offenders were executed in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009.

According to reports in the Persian language news service Aftab, 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 has since retracted her confession. She claims that Amir Hossein asked her to admit responsibility for the murder to protect him from execution, believing that, because she was under 18, she could not be sentenced to death.

Delara Derabi maintains her innocence, and has claimed that she was under the influence of sedatives during the burglary.

Amir Hossein has reportedly received a prison sentence of 10 years for his involvement in the crime.

Following the handing down of an initial sentence of death, the Supreme Court found “deficiencies” in her case and sent it for retrial. However, following two trial sessions in January and June 2006, Delara Darabi was sentenced to death for a second time by Branch 107 of the General Court in Rasht. In January 2007, her lawyer said that her case was under consideration by Branch 33 of the Supreme Court.

Amnesty is doing all it can prevent her execution – which has just been postponed from April 18, after the family of the victim refused to attend. (According to Article 7 of Iran’s Code of Procedure on executions, the family of the victim or their lawyer are required to be present for the implementation of the sentence.)

The execution has been postponed for two months and Delara Darabi remains at risk of being executed unless the family of the victim agrees on compensation.

Please appeal on Delara Darabi’s behalf to save her from execution.

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