Washington DC – Delara Darabi was executed earlier today in Rasht prison for a crime committed when she was under the age of 18. According to Amnesty International, her lawyer was not informed about the execution, “despite the legal requirement that he should receive 48 hours notice.” Less than two weeks ago, the head of Iran’s Judiciary awarded Darabi a two-month stay of execution, though that decision was apparently ignored by provincial officials.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said that Iranian authorities rushed the execution in order to prevent human rights groups from obtaining another stay. “This appears to have been a cynical move on the part of the authorities to avoid domestic and international protests which might have saved Delara Darabi’s life,” he said.
Several Human Rights organizations have condemned the execution on the basis that it is a breach of the UN Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Rights of the Child that Iran has signed and committed itself to.
In 2003, Delara was convicted of murdering a relative after confessing to the crime. She was 17 years old at the time. She later retracted her confession, saying it was given to save her boyfriend, but the courts refused to consider new evidence that her lawyer says would have proved that she “could not have committed the murder.”