Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions A/HRC/14/24/Add.1
para 406
Full recommendation:
I would therefore respectfully request Your Excellency’s Government to take all
necessary steps to commute the sentence of execution [of Mohammad Reza Haddadi]
in order to ensure compliance with the applicable standards of international human
rights law.
Assessment
In 2002, four young Iranians were arrested for car theft, while the youngest amongst them, 15
year-old Mohammadreza Haddadi, was also charged with murder. According to Iran Human
Rights, he 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).1 Since the trial, the execution of Mr. Haddadi has been postponed and
cancelled at least six times.2 Mr. Haddadi has been on death row for 16 years. The case of Mr.
Haddadi was the subject of another special procedures’ communication in 2016. 3
The Islamic Penal Code (2013)4 establishes the age of criminal responsibility at 9 lunar years for
girls and 15 lunar years for boys.5 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. 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” that 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.6 The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has referred to a
number of institutions that can intervene to mediate cases of children sentenced with qisas,
notably in order to commute qisas into diya sentences (blood money). These institutions include
a reconciliation commission, a working group tasked to support mediation with the victim’s next

1

https://iranhr.net/en/articles/4392/
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2018/10/death-penalty-iran/
3
https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=3194
4
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/
5
Article 1210, note 1
6
https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G19/021/61/PDF/G1902161.pdf?OpenElement
2

1

Select target paragraph3