Iran's regime is planning to execute Amanj Veisee for a crime he committed at the age of 15, Rebecca Carr of Amnesty International's 'Children's Human Rights Network' says.
"At his retrial in December Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee was resentenced to death for the murder of his cousin – despite an official forensic report concluding that he had not attained ‘mental growth and maturity’ at the time of the crime," Ms. Carr wrote on the website of Amnesty International UK.
"Amanj had originally been sentenced in 2008, following the fatal stabbing of us cousin during a fight. He was just 15 at the time of the stabbing and has always said he did not intend to kill his cousin."
"He says they had grown up together and he loved him deeply. He claims to have stabbed him only in a frightened reaction to his 23-year-old cousin strangling him."
"Amanj was originally sentenced to death in 2008 but was granted a retrial due to concerns that he did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences."
Despite a state forensic institution, the Legal Medicine Organization, concluding that Amanj had not attained “mental growth and maturity’ at the time of the crime, following a retrial in 2015 the court resentenced him to death.
Ms. Carr says: "The verdict is less than one page long. It dismisses the forensic report as ‘non-binding’ and concludes: ‘there is no doubt about his mental maturity at the time of the crime.’"
"Iran’s use of the death penalty on juvenile offenders has been criticised by bodies including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, who in only January of this year noted their serious concern that the exemption of juvenile offenders from the death penalty is ‘under full discretion of judges who are allowed, but not mandated to seek forensic expert opinion and that several persons have been resentenced to death following such retrials’."
In an Urgent Action appeal over Mr. Veisee's case on February 19, 2016, Amnesty International pointed out: "The age of adult criminal responsibility in Iran has been set at nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys in cases of hodud (offences against God carrying inalterable punishments prescribed by Shari’a law) and qesas (retribution-in-kind connected with a criminal act), From this age a child convicted of these offences is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult."
According to the United Nations at least 160 juvenile offenders are now on death row in Iran.