Iran Human Rights – According to the Iranian state-run news agency, Rokna, a juvenile offender identified as Farshid, 22, is facing execution after he was sentenced to death at the age of 16 for the charge of murder. There is no information available at this time regarding where Farshid is detained.
Farshid reportedly told the judge that he was a child when he committed the crime and that he has since changed for the better and realized the huge mistake he made.
According to reports, the names of Farshid’s parents are not listed in his case file, only his lawyer is representing him. In a court sesson, his lawyer reportedly requested for Article 91 of the Islamic Penal Code to be implemented in client’s case, however, the Judge did not agree and sentenced Farshid to death.
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 of there is uncertainty about their full mental development, according to their age, they shall be sentenced to the punishments prescribed in this chapter.” The Islamic Penal Code puts the age of criminal responsibility for males at 15 and 9 for females.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iran is a signatory to, the Iranian authorities have an obligation to not issue the death penalty sentence for offenses committed under the age of 18.