Iran delays execution of man convicted as teen

Iran delays execution of man convicted of murder as a teenager
2 min read
Iran has once again delayed the execution of a man who was convicted of murder as a teenager after international pressure.
Arman Abdolali was sentenced to death over the killing of his girlfriend. [Twitter]

Iran has once again postponed the execution of a man convicted of murder committed when he was a 17-years-old, following a global campaign to put a stop to it.

Arman Abdolali, now 25, was arrested and convicted of killing his girlfriend in 2014 and is being held in a prison in Karaj, Tehran.

"Arman Abdolali's sentence which was to be carried out this morning... has been stopped again, and the young man was sent back to prison last night," Etemad, an Iran-based newspaper, said on its website.

This is the second stay of execution for Abdolali, after human rights groups appealed to Iranian authorities to not violate international law by sentencing children to death.

On Monday, Amnesty International revealed that Abdolali had been moved to solitary confinement ahead of his execution, which had been set for Wednesday.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt all plans to execute Arman Abdolali,” said Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy.

The United Nations' OHCHR, the human right’s commission, also appealed.

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"The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the execution of Arman Abdolali and annul his death sentence," UN human rights experts said.

"International human rights law unequivocally forbids imposition of the death sentence on anyone under 18 years of age. We understand the authorities have encouraged negotiations about a pardon, but this does not replace the absolute prohibition on such executions."

Abdolali was arrested in 2014 in connection with the disappearance of his girlfriend, and he was reportedly held in solitary confinement, as a child, for 76 days.

Authorities reportedly withheld his asthma medicine, and he was subjected to torture. He was later convicted after giving confessions that he said were given under torture.

He recanted his confession but was sentenced to death in 2015.

"Mr. Abdolali has had to endure severe mental agony amounting to torture," the experts said. "Starting with his solitary confinement and continuing through a bizarre verdict and executions repeatedly scheduled and postponed, everything about his treatment has been inhumane."

"This case demonstrates yet again that article 91 of the Penal Code has failed to stop the imposition of death sentence penalty on children," the experts said.

"We deplore the continued scheduling of executions of child offenders despite ongoing interventions and recommendations by human rights mechanisms," the experts said. "Iran must halt the execution of Mr. Abdolali and unconditionally abolish the sentencing of children to death. It must commute of all death sentences issued against these individuals, in line with its international obligations."