Iran halts execution of juvenile offender, six others / WashingtonTV


Washington, 19 August (WashingtonTV)—Iran’s new judiciary chief, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, halted the execution on Wednesday of seven people, including a young man who was convicted for murder when he was 17, his lawyer said.

The move comes four days after Larijani replaced Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi as head of the judiciary, one of the country’s most powerful positions.

Lawyer Mohammad Mostafai told the ILNA news agency that the execution of his client, Behnoud Shoja’i, 21, was “stopped” on Larijani’s order.

Shoja’i was sentenced to death for killing a fellow teenager in a street fight, after trying to stop a fight between the boy and a friend. His execution was postponed at least once before.

“Seven people were to be executed this morning in Evin Prison, and the sentence for my client was stopped on the order of the new judiciary chief,” he said.

Mostafai added that the six other convicted criminals were also not sent to the gallows.

It was unclear whether the executions would take place at a later date.

During his swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Larijani vowed to protect the rights of the nation and firmly deal with those who break the law.

Mostafai told ILNA that he hoped that today’s action would be the first step in Larijani carrying out that pledge.

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