Thursday, September 22, 2011

Before he was hanged, the boy cried and called for his mother

Amnesty International said 17-year-old Alireza Molla-Soltani had acted in self-defense during a fight over a driving accident with a popular Iranian athlete. The boy so testified in a trial this past summer.

That didn't stop Iran from publicly hanging the teen before a large crowd this morning. The execution was widely condemned in the world community.

The state-run Fars news agency reported that, before he was hanged from a crane, Alireza was crying loudly and asking for forgiveness while calling for his mother and some religious figures.

Iran has ratified the UN convention on the Rights of the Child, which bans the death penalty for offences committed by persons under the age of 18 but Iran claims he was not a minor. After the execution, Ali Rezwanmanesh, the representative of the Judiciary present at the scene of execution, told news reporters that "Alireza was not a minor, according to Sharia, since in the Sharia the lunar calender in used and the years are shorter."

This was execution number 202 in Iran, just this year. "Along with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States, Iran has one of the highest numbers of executions each year."