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Statement on the Execution of Delara Darabi



May 5, 2009

NEW HAVEN – On May 1, 2009, the Islamic Republic of Iran secretly executed Delara Darabi while her desperate parents stood outside the prison. Delara was 22 years old and had been convicted of a crime she allegedly committed when she was 17 years old. On April 19, the Head of the Judiciary granted a stay of execution for two months. However, without notification to her lawyer, Delara was hung at Rasht Prison early Saturday morning. She was buried the following day.

Iran is believed to lead the world in number of child executions. The execution of children escalated since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2005. Delara was the second to be executed this year. Two young men who were convicted of crimes they committed while children are scheduled to be executed tomorrow in Iran.

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), is greatly saddened by the tragic killing of Delara, and urges the Islamic Republic to stop executing its young citizens - a practice that violates the country’s international obligations. Iran has ratified both the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), without reservations, thus indicating that it agrees to not execute people for crimes they committed before the age of 18.

The IHRDC is a nonprofit organization based in New Haven, Connecticut that was founded in 2004 by a group of human rights scholars, activists, and historians. Its staff of human rights lawyers and researchers produce comprehensive and detailed reports on the human rights situation in Iran since the 1979 revolution. The Center’s goal is to encourage an informed dialogue among scholars and the general public in both Iran and abroad. The human rights reports and an archive of documents are available to the public for research and educational purposes at www.iranhrdc.org.