Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
A/HRC/14/24/Add.1 para 449
Full recommendation:
I would therefore respectfully request your Government to take all necessary steps to ensure
that Mr. Haddadi is not executed tomorrow. Moreover, in order to ensure compliance with
the absolute ban of the death sentence against juvenile offenders in international human
rights law, the death sentence will have to be commuted.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Mr. Mohammadreza Haddadi was arrested in 2002 at the age of 15 for committing murder
during a car robbery. According to Iran Human Rights, he had initially plead guilty, but later
explained that his two co-defendants had bribed him into taking sole responsibility for the
murder (he was told that he would not receive the death penalty since he was underage) 2. On
6 January 2004, Mr. Haddadi was sentenced to the punishment of qisas (punishment of
retribution in kind), the death penalty, for the murder of Mohammad Bagher Rahmat. Since
the trial, the execution of Mr. Haddadi has been postponed and canceled at least six times.3
Mr. Haddadi has been in death row for 16 years. The case of Mr. Haddadi was the subject of
another special procedures’ communication in 2016. 4
The Islamic Penal Code (2013)5 establishes the age of criminal responsibility at 9 lunar years
for girls and 15 lunar years for boys.6 However, the age of responsibility for ta’zir crimes
(crimes for which fixed penalties are not provided in Islamic law giving the judge discretion
as to the sentence imposed) is 18 years for all children. For these crimes, convicted children
are sentenced to correctional measures or alternative punishments. In contrast, criminal
responsibility for crimes punishable by hudud (punishments fixed by God) or qisas, which
carry mandatory punishments such as death, is maintained at the age of “maturity”, which is 9
lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys.
In qisas cases, the pardon or commutation of the sentence is based solely on the request of the
victim or the victim’s guardian, which deprives the child of his or her right to seek pardon or
commutation from the State.7 Answering to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human
rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for its January 2019 report, the Government referred to a
number of institutions which can intervene to mediate cases of children sentenced with qisas,
1

CCPR.6.5.S.1
CCPR.6.5.P.1
CCPR.6.5.O.5
2
: https://iranhr.net/en/articles/4392/
3
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2018/10/death-penalty-iran/
4
UN Special Procedures Communication IRN 18/2016,
https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=3194
5
Article 146 and 147, Islamic Penal Code (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center,
https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penal-code/
6
Article 1210, note 1
7
https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G19/021/61/PDF/G1902161.pdf?OpenElement

1

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