PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/025/2009
27 March 2009
UA 87/09 Fear of imminent execution
IRAN Abumoslem Sohrabi (m), aged 24, juvenile offender
Abumoslem Sohrabi is at risk of imminent execution for a murder committed when he was 17 years old. His
execution order has been approved by the Supreme Court and passed to the Office for the Implementation of
Sentences, the body responsible for seeing that all sentences - including executions - are carried out.
In December 2001, Abumoslem Sohrabi from the city of Firouzabad, in Fars Province, stabbed a 25-year-old
man, Amin, in what he claimed was an act of self-defence. Abumoslem Sohrabi says that Amin had raped him
on numerous occasions and was harassing him at the time of the incident, by asking him out and offering him
motorbike rides, but he had repeteadly refused the advances. On the day of the killing, Abumoslem Sohrabi
had again refused a ride with Amin, who then threatened to tell others about their previous encounters.
Abumoslem Sohrabi then said he would accept the ride, but, after mounting the motorbike, hit Amin and then
ran away. Amin came after him, and they fought. Abumoslem Sohrabi managed to grab a knife that Amin was
carrying knife and used it against him. He then fled the scene on Amin’s motorbike, apparently not knowing
that he had killed him.
Abumoslem Sohrabi was tried by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court in Firouzabad and sentenced to qesas
(retribution) for murder committed in order to steal Amin’s motorbike. However, in a letter to the Supreme
Court, the judge who issued the original death sentence retracted his ruling in the light of evidence that
Abumoslem Sohrabi was a rape victim and acted in self-defence. In July 2008 Branch 33 of the Supreme
Court in Tehran ordered a review of the case but the death sentence was upheld.
Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on 21 January
The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6(5) of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
(CRC), to which Iran is a state party, and so has undertaken not to execute anyone for crimes committed when
they were under 18.
In Iran a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation
of Article 6(4) of the ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to
pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).
For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, please see Iran: The last executioner of
children (Index: MDE 13/059/2007), June 2007,(http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or
your own language:
- expressing concern that Abumoslem Sohrabi is at imminent risk of execution for a crime committed when he
was under 18;