IRAN: JUVENILE OFFENDER SHAYAN SAEEDPOUR EXECUTED
April 22, 2020:
Juvenile offender Shayan Saeedpour was hanged on 21 April 2020 at the prison of Saqqez city, Kurdistan province. (Sources: IHR, 21/04/2020)
Iran Human Rights strongly condemns Shayan Saeedpour's execution and calls for a strong international reaction. IHR director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said: "Execution of juvenile offenders is an international crime and must be condemned by the international community, especially the European governments. The world must show that fundamental human rights are not forgotten under the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Shayan Saeedpour was arrested at 17 after surrendering himself at a police station for the murder of another person during a fight in August 2015. In October 2018 branch One of Kurdistan’s criminal court sentenced him to death for first degree murder and to 80 lashes for drinking alcohol. There is evidence indicating that Shayan Saeedpour was under the care of a psychiatrist before the murder. Saeedpour’s family, was told to come to Sanandaj Prison, where he was taken after being re-arrested, for a last visit with their son on 20 April.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly bans execution and life imprisonment of those who commit a crime at the age below 18. Under Article 91 of the Islamic Penal Code, judges are allowed to issue alternative verdicts for the minors. The juvenile offenders whom a judge considers not mature enough to realize the nature of the crime committed can face prison terms. However, a source close to Shayan’s family told IHR, “around two years after his arrest, the court sent Shayan to forensics to find out whether he was mature enough to realize the nature of crime or not. Forensic experts asked him just one question and concluded that he realized the nature of the crime.”
According to this source, Shayan was suffering from a mental illness and was under psychiatric consultation. Shayan Saeedpour was born on 21 September 1997, and the crime date was 13 August 2015. His identity document is published by Iran Human Rights. IHR once again emphasises that Article 91 in the revised Iranian Islamic Penal Code is not enough to stop juvenile executions. Iranian authorities must stop issuing death sentences for children with no exception.
Shayan Saeedpour was one of the 80 prisoners who escaped from prison during a riot on 27 March 2020. Iranian authorities hanged one of the other prisoners following his re-arrest and implemented Shayan’s execution as an act to spread fear among the prisoners. During the past weeks, there have been many riots in Iranian prisons to protest the management of jails during the Coronavirus spread in Iran.