Target: Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Judiciary
Goal: Prevent the execution of a man who was under 18 when he committed the crime of which he is accused.
A young man has been sentenced to death despite being 17 years old at the time of being accused of fatally stabbing another man. Milad Azimi claims his confession was made under duress and his sentence violates international human rights treaties to which Iran has agreed. Sign the petition and urge Iranian authorities not to carry out Azimi’s sentence and to instead grant him a fair retrial.
Azimi claims that he was enraged at the time of the stabbing he committed, but maintains that he did not intend to kill the other man. Instead, he says, his actions were in self-defense. He admitted to the crime after being held for 15 days at a police station, and he was not allowed contact with his family until six days after his arrest, despite being a minor at the time. He was also denied access to legal representation. In the two weeks he was detained, he was allegedly flogged in order to force a confession.
Azimi retracted his confession during his trial, but was convicted regardless. He petitioned for a retrial based on Iran’s new guidelines for sentencing juvenile offenders, but the court has rejected the request. Under Iran’s retribution-in-kind law, known as qesas, he is at risk of being executed at any time the victim’s family demands it.
Murder is undoubtedly a heinous and grave crime, no matter what the age of the offender. However,
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child–both of which Iran has ratified–are very clear: Offenders under 18 may not face capital punishment. Sign the petition and tell Iran to abide by the human rights standards it has agreed to.
I am writing to urge you to prevent the execution of Milad Azimi, a young man convicted of murder who was under 18 when the crime was committed. Despite the horrific and violent nature of his crime, international law is clear: He cannot be executed since he was a minor at the time of the murder. Furthermore, he claims his confession was extracted through torture, and his trial was riddled with human rights violations. I urge you to halt Milad Azimi’s execution, retry him, and investigate his allegations of torture and ill-treatment.
Azimi was 17 at the time of the murder. After his arrest, he was held in police custody for 15 days, during which time he was allegedly flogged to provoke a confession. He was denied access to a lawyer and was not given contact with his family for six days following his arrest.
Iran has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which prohibit the capital punishment of people who commit crimes as minors. Iran must honor its obligations under these treaties and put a stop to Milad Azimi’s execution. I also urge you to grant Azimi a retrial in accordance with international fair trial standards and to investigate his allegations of torture.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: mlhradlo