The following includes disturbing facts about child execution in Iran.
Qesas is a retributive form of punishment specified in Shari’a (i.e. Islamic law) in which the punishment should be equal to the crime. The penalty for homicide is death unless the family accepts financial compensation. If a person is murdered, the family of the victim have the right to require Qesas, which means that the murderer gets executed as retribution for their loss. This sounds pretty messed up, but get even worse. In Iran, the age of criminal responsibility is still ‘puberty’, meaning nine lunar years for girls and 15 for boys, in both cases violating the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Note that a lunar year is 10-15 days shorter than a solar year, so a 9 year old girl is actual 8 years and 9 months approximately. Some years ago, execution for discretionary punishments has been abolished for children under 18 and replaced with correctional measures. Although it abolishes the execution of juveniles for certain crimes, most juvenile executions in Iran are for Qesas homicide-related crimes. Since 2004, there have been 26 child (under 18) executions in Iran, however the real number is unknow and can be way higher.
Another devastating fact is that children can get death sentence but they don’t get executed until they turn 18 in Iran. If a person commits murder at the age of 14 and gets death sentence, they will be executed after their 18th birthday. It gets even creepier! According to Sharia Law, a muslim girl cannot die a virgin! So if the condemned is a girl, she would be married temporarily (siqa) to a man in prison the night before the execution. Basically, she gets raped before getting executed. Again, remember that an 18 year old (lunar) is about 17 years and 5 months old.
When I was in detention in Iran, there was a 12 year old boy in our cell. His name was Mohammad and he was sentenced to death for shooting and murdering people in a wedding. He was from a village near Jiroft, a part of Iran which suffers from drug addiction, ruling of drug cartels, poverty and lack of education. The boy, who obviously was suffering from mental issues, one night, finds an AK-47 in the back of his uncle’s truck, gets drunk with some handmade araq, goes to a wedding and opens fire. After he was caught, he was not sent to a youth correction centre because of his crime, but he was sent to Kerman’s prison where he had been repetitively raped, drugged, bashed and stabbed. Tragic and disturbing. However, I spent 11 days with this kid. He was just like all other 12 year olds. No matter how horrifying his life was, he was full of joy, energy and excitement to play games and learn. I taught him some English words and another cellmate ,who was a doctor, taught him some simple math. He was eager and lively. I will never forget him, and what haunts me when I think of him is that he is dead now! He was 12 back in 2011, and was waiting to turn 18 to be executed. He actually told me, with a smile, that he’d been waiting for it. A 12 year old, waiting for the gallows. Now, it’s 2018, he must have been executed in 2017, not very long ago!
P.S. I have received criticism from other Iranians about what I write, as they think my blog is exaggerated. I have to say that Iran is not only the posh areas of northern Tehran! And you have had your heads in the sand or your butts.
This has been the most difficult post to write. I feel sick and disgusted. I have deleted so much of it. Maybe one day I share the full post with all the grotesque detail.
If you want more information you can have a look at: http://iliberty.org.uk/what-we-do/stop-execution-of-children-in-iran/