Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); October 13, 2021: Juvenile offender Arman Abdolali is still being held in solitary confinement and is due to be executed in the coming days in Rajai Shahr Prison.
According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, juvenile offender Arman Abdolali who was due to be executed today is still being held in solitary confinement and there is serious concern that his execution will be carried out in the coming days.
Informed sources have told Iran Human Rights that according to prison officials, Arman’s execution will be carried out on Saturday. Arman was transferred to solitary confinement on October 11 and his parents were summoned for the last visit with him yesterday.
Yesterday, UN human rights experts urgently appealed to the Islamic Republic to halt Arman’s execution and demanded that Iran stop sentencing children to death.
Arman Abdolali was born on 9 March 1996 and arrested on murder charges in 2013 when he was 17 years old. He confessed to the murder at the time of his arrest, but the body was never found and he later withdrew his confession.
Arman’s lawyer had previously pointed to the fact that the pull-up bar Arman had confessed to using as the murder weapon had also never been examined by the police.
Upon arrest, Arman was held in solitary confinement for 74 days where he confessed to the murder. He was subsequently tried and sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) based on the confession, without taking into consideration that he was a juvenile offender.
Days prior to his execution, Arman’s lawyer found out that Ghazaleh had been issued with a leave of absence by her university and her insurance policy had been renewed and used them as evidence to request a retrial.
Two of the judges who had previously sentenced Arman to qisas, opined that further investigations would be required in light of the fact that the letter from her university was dated after the murder was alleged to have taken place. Meanwhile, Ghazaleh’s family gave Arman an extension and opportunity to reveal the location of the body.
His retrial was heard before Branch 5 of the Criminal Court when he was studying for his master’s degree at Shahid Modarres University. Once again, he denied the murder and stated that he did not know where her body was and that she might be alive.
His case was later referred to the Tehran Criminal Court, which found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to qisas. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in February this year.
Iran is one of the few countries in the world that still carries out the death penalty for juvenile offenders. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Islamic Republic is a signatory to, prohibit the issuance and implementation of the death penalty for crimes committed by an individual below 18 years of age.
Yet, according to data collected by IHR and international human rights organisations, the Islamic Republic is responsible for more than 70% of all executions of juvenile offenders in the last 30 years. IHR’s statistics also show that at least 64 juvenile offenders have been executed in Iran over the past 10 years, with at least four executed in 2020.