After being transferred to solitary confinement at Lakan prison in Rasht, Iran, Hamid Ahmadi is expected to be executed on February 4, according to Amnesty International. Ahmadi was arrested at 17 for the fatal stabbing of a young man during a fight that involved him and four others in 2008.
UN human rights experts have appealed to Iran to halt the execution. Ahmadi’s execution has been scheduled twice before, but was halted at the last minute. Questions have been asked about his trial, in which the court relied on confessions that were reportedly obtained under torture and ill treatment.
“To our knowledge, in the case of Hamid Ahmadi, the most stringent guarantees of fair trial and due process contained in international human rights instruments have been disrespected and, the allegations of torture and confessions extracted under duress were not taken into consideration nor did they lead to any investigation,” said the human rights experts.
According to the UN experts, the Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the November 2009 conviction, even though there was doubt about the testimony of some of the prosecution’s key witnesses. In 2013, Ahmadi was granted a new trial due to the adoption of new juvenile sentencing provisions within the Islamic Penal Code. This trial led to a new conviction in 2015.
“Any death sentence undertaken in contravention of a government’s international obligations, and particularly when a conviction is based on confessions extracted under torture, is unlawful and tantamount to an arbitrary execution,” the experts noted.
These experts urged that all juvenile executions in Iran be suspended and that Iran should observe its international obligations by putting an end to juvenile offender execution permanently. The UN experts, which include Ms. Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishments; and Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, current Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Additionally, the experts noted that they had already intervened in behalf of one execution that was set to occur on January 17. Two other individuals, who offended when they were juveniles, were executed by hanging on January 15 and 18.
“We strongly deplore that executions of juveniles continue to be scheduled and even conducted at an unprecedented rate in Iran since the beginning of the year,” said the experts.