Iran’s execution Wednesday of a young man convicted for a murder he allegedly committed as a minor amounted to an “international crime”, a rights group said, charging he had been tortured to confess.
Arman Abdolali, 25, was executed over the killing of his girlfriend, in defiance of an international outcry over his conviction that had previously seen him transferred for hanging five times only to see the execution postponed.
“The execution of Arman Abdolali is an international crime,” said Mahmood Amiry Moghaddam, head of Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR) which monitors executions in Iran.
“Besides being executed for an alleged offence committed at under 18 years of age which is a violation of international law, Arman was sentenced to death based on confessions extracted under torture, without a fair trial and due process,” he said in a statement.
Moghaddam also said that the “repeated transfers for execution and then returning him without any explanation” constituted “psychological torture”.
He called for President Ebrahim Raisi, judiciary chief before his election this year, to be brought to account for Abdolali’s execution.
According to Amnesty International, Abdolali was sentenced to death in December 2015, but in “a grossly unfair trial” by a court that “relied on torture-tainted ‘confessions'”.
IHR said Abdolali confessed at the time of his arrest, but a body was never found and he later retracted. It said he was 17 years old at the time of the alleged murder.
Abdolali had been transferred to solitary confinement at 8 pm Tuesday ahead of execution and was not given the chance of a final meeting with his family, it said.
Iran executes more people each year than any nation except China.
IHR said at least 64 juvenile offenders have been executed in Iran over the past 10 years, with at least four executed in 2020.
“According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is illegal to execute someone for crimes committed under the age of 18,” said the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“Iran is a party to both treaties but is still putting juvenile offenders to death,” it said on Twitter.