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Rights group calls on Iran to stay execution of child offender

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Iran Focus: London, Oct. 18 – The global human rights group Amnesty International launched an urgent appeal on Thursday to save the life a young man who is sentenced to be executed for a crime he allegedly committed while still a minor. Iran Focus

London, Oct. 18 – The global human rights group Amnesty International launched an urgent appeal on Thursday to save the life a young man who is sentenced to be executed for a crime he allegedly committed while still a minor.

Amnesty International said that 21-year-old Ali Mahin Torabi is currently being held in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, near Tehran, and his death sentence could be carried out “at any time”.

A court had sentenced him to execution for the February 2003 fatal stabbing of a student during a playground fight at the Bani Hashemi High School. Torabi was only 16 years old when he allegedly stabbed fellow student Mazdak Khodadian.

“Iran is the only country in the world that still executes child offenders – people convicted of crimes committed before they were 18. Over 70 child offenders are currently facing execution in Iran”, Amnesty said in a statement.

“Executing someone is cruel and inhumane, whatever the circumstances. But the execution of child offenders is particularly sickening”, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said.

Torabi’s lawyer has repeatedly drawn attention to the lack of clarity and doubts surrounding the events leading to the death of Khodadian, noting for example that the coroner reported that the blow did not enter the victim in a direct manner and that it was not consistent with an intentional blow.

Torabi has repeatedly stated that he only realised his schoolmate had been stabbed after he heard shouting from the crowds that had gathered during the schoolyard disturbance and that his blow was not intentional.

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