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Iran: Juvenile Offender Hamid Ahmadi Maledeh on Death Row

22 Dec 18
Iran: Juvenile Offender Hamid Ahmadi Maledeh on Death Row

Iran Human Rights (IHR); December 20, 2018: Hamid Ahmadi Maledeh, a prisoner who is sentenced to death for an alleged murder at the age of 17, is in danger of execution in the coming months, after having been on death row after 11 years in Rash Central Prison.

According to the IHR sources, Hamid Ahmadi Maledeh was born on December 24, 1990. He reportedly participated in a street fight on March 5, 2008, in which a person was murdered. Hamid was 17 at the time of the incident. Nevertheless, his relatives claim that he was only a mediator and did not commit the crime.

Close sources also emphasized that Hamid was tortured in the first phase of interrogations to confess against himself. 

Following the adoption of the latest Islamic Penal code in 2013 which was retroactive, Hamid’s case was sent to forensics to estimate his maturity at the time of the crime.  The Islamic Penal Code puts the age of criminal responsibility for males at 15 and 9 for females. However, according to Article 91 of Iran's revised Islamic Penal Code, it is up to the presiding judge's discretion to deem the juvenile mature enough to understand the nature of the offense:  "In the cases of offenses punishable by hadd or qisas, if mature people under eighteen years do not realize the nature of the crime committed or its prohibition, or if there is uncertainty about their full mental development, according to their age, they shall be sentenced to the punishments prescribed in this chapter. In Hamid's case, the forensics refused to give an assessment because they could not estimate one’s maturity eight years after the committed crime. So, the judge decided to announce Hamid “mature enough” and upheld the death sentence.

He was sentenced to  qisas (retribution in kind)  death penalty  based on his confessions.  In qisas cases, the plaintiff has the possibility to forgive or demand diya ( blood money) instead of the death sentence. In case of Hamid Ahmadi, the plaintiffs have set a blood-money amount corresponding to 200.000 USD. If Hamid doesn't pay this amount, he will be in danger of execution in the coming months.

Despite ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which bans the death penalty for offenses committed at under 18 years of age, Iran is the world's top executioner of juvenile offenders. So far in 2018, Iranian authorities have executed six juvenile offenders.