Mohammad Reza Haddadi

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Age: 21;
Location: Adelabad prison in Shiraz;
Date condemned: 2004

November 21 Mohammad Reza Haddadi is being denied necessary treatment for his kidneys. His father is unable to pay the exorbitant surgery fees required by the prison, and they will not operate on Haddadi until the cost is paid.

UPDATE 5 July: "It is important to note that the July 7th date of execution was announced to Mohammad Reza's family, but prison officials and the court never actually confirmed this date. According to the most recent statement from defense lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, no date has been announced for the execution. According to the regulations of retribution (Qesas), lawyers are to be given 48 hours notice prior to the execution. Mostafaei claims that he has not received 48 hours prior notice. The only date confirmed is Mohammad Reza Haddadi's final meeting date called for Tuesday July 6, 2010."(from Persian2English)

UPDATE 4 July: Mohammad Reza Haddadi's execution date has been set for 7 July. We have created a sample letter addressed to the UN on Mohammad's behalf and activist Lissnup has created a letter to send to Iranian authorities.

United4Iran has created a profile badge to support and raise awareness for Mohammad on social networking sites.

In an interview, Mohammad's father told Voice of America that he received a letter saying his son will be executed and he may come for a last visit on Tuesday (July 6). An English transcript of the interview is available. According to his father, Mohammad was three months shy of his fifteenth birthday, and his court-appointed lawyer took no action in Mohammad's defense.

UPDATE July 9: Mohammad Bagher Rahmat is the man who Mohammad Reza Haddadi is accused of murdering in 2003. The victim's son, Mehdi Rahmat, has spoken to renowned activist and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi about the possibility of forgiving Mohammmad Reza Haddadi. Rahmat is quoted as saying, "I can’t say no. I can’t turn down Ms. Ebadi. I can’t do it on humanitarian grounds."

Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to death in 2004 for a murder he allegedly committed at age 15, a violation of the protections granted by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 37(a) states: No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age. Furthermore, Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees that persons who commit a crime when under 18 years of age will not be subject to the death penalty.

The Committee of Human Rights Reporters says of Haddadi:

Haddadi confessed to the murder after a man over the age of 18 who allegedly was involved in the murder convinced Haddadi to confess and accept the murder charge in exchange for a sum of money. Haddadi was told that his confession would be taken lightly by the court since we was under the age of 18 years at the time of the murder.

Although Mohammad has recanted his confession and was possibly deceived by the other defendants, his claims have not been considered and the case has not been reopened. The Islamic Republic has forsaken justice in the interest of expediency and is violating international law. Upon signing the ICCPR, Iran agreed to abide by Article 6(4): Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.

On 8 December 2009, Amnesty International published an Urgent Action item on Haddadi's pending execution. The scheduled execution did not take place, but no revised date was announced and Haddadi still awaits execution in prison. Amnesty International posted a follow-up on 9 December.