Iran: Execution for Offense Committed at Age 13
Amnesty International condemns the
Below is a press released published by Amnesty International:
Amnesty International condemns the execution, on 4 December 2007, of Makwan Moloudzadeh, an Iranian Kurdish child offender, following a grossly flawed trial for an offence he allegedly committed at the age of 13. Execution for a crime committed at the age of 13 is a gross abuse of international human rights standards, which prohibit the execution of those convicted of crimes committed under the age of 18.
In 2007 alone, the Iranian authorities have executed at least five other child offenders and at least 75 others remain on death row.
Makwan Moloudzadeh, 21, was convicted of lavat-e iqabi (anal sex) for the alleged rape of three individuals, eight years ago, when he was 13.
Under Article 49 of the Penal Code, minors - those who have not yet reached maturity (puberty) as defined by Islamic Law - are exempted from criminal responsibility. Under Article 1210 of the Civil Code, boys are deemed to reach puberty at the age of 15 lunar years (approximately 14 years and seven months), but this appears to leave open the possibility that judges may rule on a different age of maturity in individual cases. Article 113 of the Penal Code provides for up to 74 lashes in the case of a minor convicted of anal sex.
Makwan Moloudzadeh’s trial was grossly flawed. The alleged victims withdrew their accusations in the course of the trial, held in a criminal court in Kermanshah and with sessions held in Paveh, western
According to Article 120 of the Penal Code, in cases of anal sex between men, the judge “can make his judgement according to his knowledge which is obtained through conventional methods.”
The trial judge sentenced Makwan Moloudzadeh to death in July 2007 when Makwan Moloudzadeh was aged 21, even though Makwan Moloudzadeh was under 15 lunar years at the time of the alleged crime, and in the absence of medical evidence testifying to his state of maturity at the time of the crime.
Amnesty International is calling on the Head of Judiciary in
Makwan Moloudzadeh was arrested on 1 October 2006 in Paveh, western
In November  Makwan Moloudzadeh’s lawyer sought a judicial enquiry to allow a review of the verdict and sentence. On 14 November  a temporary stay of execution was ordered to allow for reinvestigation of the case. However, this review appears to have found no fault with the verdict and sentence and Makwan Moloudzadeh was executed on 4 December .
At least 75 child offenders are on death row in Iran; Amnesty International fears that an additional15 child offenders, all Afghan nationals convicted of drug smuggling offences committed when they were under 18 may also be facing possible death sentences or have been already sentenced to death.