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Execution, Iran |  The juvenile offender must pay blood money to escape death

Execution, Iran | The juvenile offender must pay blood money to escape death

Iranian Yasser Fathi has been sentenced to death for a crime he allegedly committed when he was a minor. It is said that Fathi was only 17 years old when he got into a group fight that ended in one death.

Fathi was sentenced which means that he must also pay with his life.

Four years later, he is in danger of being executed.

According to the Iranian Human Rights Organization, Fathi was transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday, August 6, in Zanjan prison, awaiting execution by hanging.

The next day the counter notification came. Fathi must pay the blood money to the victim’s family within a specified deadline. If he does not pay, the death penalty is carried out.

– He was returned to his cell in the middle of the night and given one month to pay blood money. Humanitarian organizations in Iran are now working to raise enough funds, Iran’s head of human rights, Mahmoud Amiri Moghaddam, tells Nettavisen.

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Under Iranian law, the victim’s family must choose between retaliatory punishment (the death penalty), pardon, or blood money.

– In this way, the system makes the victim’s family responsible, turning them into a kind of executioner. Recently, there has been an increasing number of families choosing blood money or forgiveness over retaliatory punishment. Amri Moghadam says that the poor do not have the ability to pay blood money, and so they end up being executed.

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Indicative blood money rates

– How much blood money is involved?

Indicative blood money rates are announced every year by the courts in Iran. It must correspond to the price of a certain number of camels. In March 2023, the courts reached new indicative rates for blood money. At that time, the price of a Muslim man was 900 million tomans, which was equivalent to about 18,000 euros at the time (200,000 kronor). For a Muslim woman, the price is about half. But these are only indicative friendly rates. There is no roof top. Families can in principle claim blood money as much as they want, says Amiri Moghadam.

Al-Amiri Moghaddam stresses that Fathi is still in danger of execution, and that everything depends on whether enough blood money is collected or if the international community promotes harsh criticism of the regime and calls for the death penalty to be lifted.

What happens to a person sentenced to death if blood money is paid on time?

– Then two things can happen. In addition to the retaliatory punishment, that is, retribution, they are also sentenced to shorter or longer terms of imprisonment. The length of imprisonment varies widely, and depends on the circumstances. Ameri Moghaddam says it is conceivable that a person will finish serving a short or long sentence before they are finally released.

Execution of juvenile offenders

The death penalty for crimes committed by minors contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Iranian regime has ratified.

However, the Iranian regime continues to carry out executions of minors at the time of the crime. From 2010 to 2022, the regime executed 68 people who were minors when they committed the crime, according to Iran Human Rights.

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Worldwide, Iran accounts for 70 percent of all executions of minor offenders in the past 33 years.