Update: On 29 September, Iranian officials executed Farhad Salehi Jabehdar, and again displayed their shameless contempt for the right to life and disregarded their obligations under international law. Justice is never served by taking a life. We renew our calls for a moratorium on the death penalty in Iran pending its complete abolition.
Responding to the news that Iranian authorities have transferred Farhad Salehi Jabehdar, a 30-year-old man sentenced to death for the rape of a child, to solitary confinement at Central Prison of Karaj in Alborz province in preparation for his execution on 29 September at dawn, Diana Eltahawy, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International, said:
“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the planned execution of Farhad Salehi Jabehdar. Regardless of the crime, the death penalty is the ultimate cruel inhuman and degrading punishment and its use cannot be justified in any circumstance. Under international law, states that retain the death penalty must restrict its use to the most serious crimes involving intentional killings. Iran, the world’s second most prolific executioner, continues to cruelly violate the right to life with little regard to its obligations under international law.
“In addressing horrendous sexual and gender-based violence, Iran’s authorities should improve access to justice and reparations for victims and survivors, including by adopting and implementing adequate prevention measures and protection mechanisms, and pursuing effective criminal investigations instead of perpetuating the cycle of violence by resorting to yet another execution.
“There is no credible evidence that the death penalty has a greater deterrence effect on crimes than prison terms, and justice is never served by taking a life. We urge the Iranian authorities to halt the execution of Farhad Salehi Jabehdar, and to set a moratorium on the death penalty pending its complete abolition.”
Farhad Salehi Jabehdar was arrested on 10 June 2018 over the sexual assault of a 10-year-old child in 2017. He was convicted of “forced male-male intercourse” (lavat-e be-onf) and sentenced to death by Criminal Court One of Alborz Province on 12 March 2019. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the Supreme Court.
The father of the child formally requested that the authorities not impose the death penalty on Farhad Salehi Jabehdar in November 2019. His lawyer appealed to President Ebrahim Raisi in his former capacity as head of the judiciary to stop the execution, and order a review of the case, but Ebrahim Raisi did not accept the request. Multiple requests for judicial review to the Supreme Court have also been rejected. A number of religious opinions from several high-profile Shia clerics have also been submitted in support of legal efforts to halt his execution. His execution, which had previously been scheduled for April 2021, was postponed following domestic and international interventions.
There is no credible evidence that the death penalty has a greater deterrence effect on crimes than prison terms, and justice is never served by taking a life.Diana Eltahawy, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director
In 2020, Iran carried out 246 recorded executions, making it the world’s second top executioner. Executions were carried out following convictions and death sentences in grossly unfair trials marred by claims of torture-tainted “confessions”, as well as following convictions for crimes that do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes involving intentional killing.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.