Witness Statement of Ali Mahin Torabi
Ali Mahin Torabi was sentenced to Qisas and spent over 7 years in prison for his involvement in the death of a schoolmate in 2003 when he was only 16 years old. He tells how his case was transferred from one court to another and how his life remains in jeopardy.
Name: Ali Mahin Torabi
Place of Birth: Tehran, Iran
Date of Birth: May 7, 1986
Interviewing Organization: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)
Date of Interview: August 12, 2011
Interviewer: IHRDC Staff
This statement was prepared pursuant to an interview with Ali Mahin Torabi. It was approved by Ali Mahin Torabi on September 9, 2011. There are 26 paragraphs in the statement.
1. My name is Ali Mahin Torabi and I was born in Tehran in 1986. In 2003, at age 16, due to involvement in a group fight, resulting in the death of one of my schoolmates by the name of Mazdak Khodadadian, I was arrested. At the Investigation Bureau in Hesarak, Karaj, I was coerced into taking responsibility for three stab wounds, where only one was found. Since other witnesses were also under-age, influenced by the insinuation of the head of the Investigation branch, they also verified three stab wounds. I was involved with the courts for many years, and at different stages I received the sentence of Qisas [retribution], without acknowledging that I was merely a 16 year-old youth. Finally, I had one last review, and after a prolonged process, the court vacated the sentence of Qisas, and after 7 years, 7 months, and 11 days, in mid July 2010, I was released from prison on bail. Later, however, the Supreme Court rejected the ruling and thus my case is again under review.
2. The incident happened on 3 February 2003 in front of our school, Bani-hashemi Vocational School, located at Nuhumeh Sharqi [E. 9th] Avenue, Gohardasht, Karaj. I was 16 at the time. When the incident occurred, the first thing I did, given that everyone had fled, was to stop a car in order to take the victim to the hospital, but unfortunately what I heard was, ‘Whoever has done this should take him to the hospital!’ and thus the drivers refused to transfer the victim to the hospital. I then went to the school office and asked for help in transferring the victim to the hospital, so one of the teachers brought his car for transferring him. Subsequently, the police came, arrested and handcuffed me and took me away in their car to Division 15 in Gohardasht, located on 8th Ave.
At the Police Station
3. I was not treated badly at the police station. I was told that the victim was fine and in stable condition. They said that he was operated on and would be released within a day or two, and that the wound(s) was not serious. At the same time that the officials were telling me that the victim was fine, they asked me to write a statement about the incident from the beginning; which I did. I explained how the incident happened; who pushed him; which individuals had knives, and so on. I was then told by the authorities that I would be sent to the judge the next day for a decision. I spent the night at the station, not knowing what was going on. At the station, I was first taken to the general room, but because I was harassed by other detainees, they moved me to a room where the guards slept. I was under so much stress that I could not sleep.