URGENT ACTION JUVENILE OFFENDER AT RISK OF EXECUTION IN IRAN Iranian juvenile offender Rasoul Holoumi is at risk of execution
for allegedly causing fatal injuries to a boy in a fight. He was 17 years old at the time. His death sentence has been sent to the Office of the Implementation of Sentences in Ahvaz, and could be carried out at the request of the family of the deceased victim at any time. Rasoul Holoumi, now aged 22, was sentenced to death in October 2010 under qesas (retribution-in-kind) by Branch 17 of the Criminal Court of Khuzestan Province. The court convicted him of murder based on allegations that he threw a hard object at the head of Nasim Nouri Maleki during the course of a fight in September 2009. The allegations have been made by several of the people involved in the fight. The court documents indicate that Rasoul Holoumi initially admitted causing the fatal head injuries. He retracted his admission after several weeks with statements that raise doubts about the events, including the identity of the individual who struck the victim, the intentionality of the injuries caused, and even the presence of Rasoul Holoumi at the scene of the incident.
Despite of his age at the time of the offence, the seriousness of the charge, and the risk of the imposition of the death penalty, Rasoul Haloumi was not given access to a lawyer during the investigative phase nor was he provided with adequate time and facilities to prepare effective defence through competent appointed counsel before and during trial. In spite of this the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in 2010 without justifying its decision.
The execution of Rasoul Holoumi was to be implemented on 4 May, but was stopped after the family of the deceased victim agreed to forgo their request for qesas if Rasoul Holoum’s family transferred the deeds of their house and farm to them and paid them 3.5 billion rials (135,323$) as diyah (blood money). Rasoul Haloumi is at imminent risk of execution as the amount of diyah asked appears to be beyond his family’s means. Sentences of qesas are not open to pardon or amnesty by the Supreme Leader, in breach of international law, but they can be temporarily stayed by the head of the judiciary in order to allow the family time to raise the requested blood money.