Iran says youth appealing execution sentence

 
 
Tue Jul 1, 2008
 
TEHRAN (Reuters) – A youth in Iran is appealing a death sentence and the case is being reviewed, judiciary officials said on Tuesday after the European Union called for the execution to be halted.

Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said the Islamic Republic did not execute youths under 18 and sought to resolve any such cases through reconciliation and the payment of blood money, in line with sharia, Islamic law.

Rights groups have in the past criticised Iran for sentencing youths to death for crimes committed while they were minors but only carrying out the execution once they reached 18.

The European Union in a statement last week called on Iran to halt what it said was the imminent execution of Saleh Taseb, who an EU official said was born in 1992. The EU originally named the youth as Selah Taseh.

The EU also called for halting the execution of other juvenile offenders on death row, naming them as Behnoud Shojaaee, Mohammad Fadaaee, Saeed Jazee, Behnam Zaare and Abu Moslem Sohrabi.

“The case of Taseb is at the appeal stage and the verdict is being reviewed,” Jamshidi told a news conference.

A judiciary official later told Reuters that Taseb was convicted of murder. The official said the juvenile’s case was transferred to a higher court on the order of judiciary chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi to review the execution sentence.

Jamshidi said: “As I have said before, ‘qisas’ (the Islamic code of punishment or fair retribution) is a religious decree and we do not have execution under the age of 18.”

“We often try to resolve a case through reconciliation and the payment of ‘diya’ (the payment of blood money) to avoid the implementation of the sentence (for a minor),” he said.  Continued…

 

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