Iran sets third execution date in eight days for convicted killer

Campaigners say Tehran is breaching international law by executing man for murder committed before he reached adulthood

Iran has set a third date for the execution of a man convicted of a murder he committed at the age of 17 after the sentence was twice postponed amid an international outcry.

Arman Abdolali, now 25, is due to be executed on Wednesday after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend, rights group Amnesty International reported.

Iran has signed an international agreement banning the death penalty for people who committed crimes while under the age of 18.

Campaigners say Abdolali was sentenced to death in December 2015 following an unfair trial marred by confessions obtained under torture.

The Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights said Abdolali confessed to the murder at the time of his arrest, but the body was never found and he later withdrew his confession.

The sentence was upheld in 2016 and he lost an appeal last year.

He has been moved to solitary confinement for a third time at Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, on the outskirts of Tehran, in preparation for his execution, said Amnesty.

Abdolali was due to die last Wednesday and at the weekend but the execution was postponed on both occasions.

Iran executes more people each year than any other nation except China. Iran Human Rights said at least 64 juvenile offenders have been executed in the country over the past 10 years, with at least four executed in 2020.

In a sign of international concern over the case, Germany's human rights commissioner Baerbel Kofler said carrying out the execution would be an “unacceptable breach of international law".

“Arman Abdolali was a minor at the time of the alleged crime. There is credible evidence that his confession was obtained under torture and that the conviction thus contradicts fundamental principles of the rule of law,” she said in a statement released by the German foreign ministry.

The UN has repeatedly condemned Iran for executing child offenders, saying it is a breach of international law.

Iran signed a UN deal banning the practice in 1968 that was ratified seven years later.

Updated: October 19th 2021, 5:16 AM