Father of minor “offender” says son to be hanged tomorrow in SW Iran

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An Iranian man, arrested at the age of 15, will be executed tomorrow in a southwestern prison, his father said. Mohammad-Reza Haddadi has been detained for robbery and murder since 2003 in Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison.

Speaking to Deutsche Welle’s Persian service, Mohammad-Reza’s father said his son called from prison and informed him that he would be executed on August 19 and that his father should come for the last visit.

During the last 17 years, his execution has been scheduled and canceled at least six times, according to Amnesty International. Mohammad-Reza Haddadi and his family have spent the last 17 years in excruciating anxiety and in constant trauma about the impending execution.

During initial investigations on October 30, 2003, 15-year-old Mohammad-Reza confessed to the murder. However, eight days later on November 7, he wrote in a letter to the court that one of the other suspects had bribed him into accepting the charges because he was a minor. He said that he had not played a part in the murder.

Reports indicate that Mohammad-Reza Haddadi is in poor physical and mental health. His family has reached out to international organizations many times to save their son’s life.

Haddadi’s father is blind and ill and is unable to visit his son in person. In a January 2019 audio message, his father announced that his son was innocent and accused Sadroallah Hekmatpour, then Head of the Kazerun Police Station, for his son’s death sentence.

“Hekmatpour, who accused my son of murder is currently in a prison in Isfahan (central Iran) for dealing drugs and the possession of several kilos of heroin,” he said.

“Hekmatpoor told us at the time that he would ‘fix everything’ if my son accepted the murder charges. My son was tricked so Hekmatpoor could make a deal with the murderer. The murderer is now free and living his life.”

According to Mohammad-Reza Haddadi’s lawyer, his death sentence is not imminent.

Hossein Ahmadi Niaz told Deutsche Welle that Mohammad-Reza’s case was currently under assessment and that he would not be executed tomorrow.

Iran has the highest executions per capita in the world and continues to executed minor offenders. Iranian courts are notorious for their lack of due process and offenders are usually coerced into making confessions against themselves.

From 2014 to the end of 2017, Iran executed at least 25 people for crimes committed when they were children, according to Amnesty International and Iran Human Rights. In 2018 alone, Iran executed seven people for crimes they allegedly committed as children.

Source » irannewswire

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