Alireza Tajiki accused of murder at 15, facing execution tomorrow 10 August

09/08/2017
Our Movement
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9 August 2017- According to the information received from Iran, Alireza Tajiki, who is accused of committing murder when he was 15, was transferred today to solitary confinement at Shiraz prison and is due to be executed Thursday 10 August. Prison officials have asked his family to go to prison for a final visit today.

Mr Tajiki was arrested in 2012 at the age of 15 and was charged with rape and murder of his friend. The death sentence against him was imposed based on his “confession” extracted under torture during his initial detention in solitary confinement, even though he retracted this “confession” during his trial, stating that he had been tortured and proclaiming his innocence. Iranian authorities have previously scheduled his execution twice: on 15 May 2016 and 3 August 2016. On both occasions, his lawyer Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh and a number of activists have managed to secure a temporary stay of execution.

Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mr. Tajiki’s lawyer, had submitted testimonies of 10 psychologists and psychiatrists to the Supreme Court. All the 10 experts had declared that persons younger than 18 are not “fully mature” and stated their readiness to testify in court. However, disregarding the opinion of those experts, the Supreme Court rejected the application of Ms. Sotoudeh for a retrial and endorsed the statement by the head of the Forensic Medicine Department of Shiraz who attested that Mr. Tajiki “was fully mature” at the time of the commission of the alleged crime.

Mr. Tajiki was sentenced to death after a trial that failed to meet international standards of fairness and transparency in April 2014. His case is highly flawed, e.g. he has been denied due process, including being denied access to a lawyer during the investigation period. In addition, the authorities have refused to properly investigate the claim of “confession” under torture and Mr. Tajiki’s assertion that the victim had been murdered by Mr. Reza Jaladat, the brother of a security agent in the city of Fassa, in collaboration with two other persons. Furthermore, Mr. Tajiki’s application for a retrial has been turned down.

Despite the gross flaws, the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence against Mr. Tajiki.
Civic activists and opponents of the death penalty against children are attempting to secure once more a stay of execution of Mr. Tajiki. We call on all activists to take urgent action, to use all possible means to publish this news and prevent Mr. Tajiki’s execution.

International human rights organisations have documented the executions of at least 78 juveniles since 2005, including five in 2016, four in 2015, 13 in 2014, eight in 2013, four in 2012 and seven in 2011.

For more information on the case of Alireza Tajiki, see: Karim Lahidji, former & honorary president of FIDH, Open letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding impending execution of juvenile offender Alireza Tajiki, 1 August 2016,
at: https://www.fidh.org/20345

League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (FIDH member)
lddhi(at)fidh.org

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