Tuesday, July 17, 2007

imminent execution of a minor in Iran

We have just heard of the imminent execution of Sina Paymard, who was sentenced to death in Iran for a crime committed when he was just 16 years old. Sina may be executed within the next few hours.

From a press release we've just issued:

According to reports, he has been moved from Reja'i Shahr prison in Karaj, to Tehran's Evin prison, for his execution to be carried out.

Sina, a musician, was due to be executed in September last year for murder. On the gallows, his last request was to play the ney (a Middle Eastern flute) for the last time. The family of the victim was so moved by his playing that they granted him a last minute reprieve. Instead, they asked for 150 million toumans (over $US 160,000) as compensation. Sina's family, however, have not been able to raise the full amount.

Iran continues to have one of the highest rates of executions in the world. Amnesty International has recorded at least 124 executions since the beginning of 2007, suggesting that by the end of this year the total number of executions could exceed the total of 177 executions that Amnesty International recorded in 2006.

Two recent victims of the Iranian authorities' use of the death penalty were child offenders, whose alleged crimes were committed before the age of 18, and a third was a man who was stoned to death. The two child offenders -- Mohammad Mousavi and Sa'id Qanbar Zahi -- were executed in April and May respectively, in direct contravention of international law, which requires that no-one should be executed for crimes committed while under the age of 18.

Please take urgent action to halt the execution of Sina Paymard by visiting http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=301 and PLEASE post this on your blog, myspace page, Facebook wall, or anywhere else, so other people can do the same.

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