URGENT: MINOR OFFENDER, BEHNOUD SHOJAEE, SCHEDULED TO BE EXECUTED TOMORROW AUGUST 19

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Iran Human Rights, August 18: According to reports from Iran, Behnoud Shojaee (21), convicted of an alleged murder at the age of 16, is scheduled to be executed tomorrow Wednesday August 19, in Tehran!

Behnoud’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, wrote in a letter that the section for implementation of the verdict in Tehran has confirmed the news, and Behnoud has been transferred to solitary confinement as a routine 24 hours before the execution.

This is despite the fact that the Iranian daily newspaper Etemad, reported today that Behnoud’s scheduled execution has been postponed!

Behnood is convicted of a murder at Tehran’s Vanak park four years ago. But Behnood who believes that he is not responsible for the murder.

Behnoud has been close to execution several times earlier. He has been on the execution list at least four times in 2008. His scheduled execution has been postponed on May 6, June 11, July 23 and December 24, mainly due to international pressure and the focus his case has achieved among Iranian and international human rights defenders and media.

Despite ratification of UN’s convention of children’s rights that bans death penalty for offences committed at under 18 years of age, Iran has been on top of the list of the countriues executing minors in the past years. At least four have been executed in Iran in 2009, for offences allegedly committed at under 18 years of age.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights, said:"Number of executions has increased dramatically after the pro-democracy demonstrations started in Iran. We are deeply concerned that the minor offender Behnoud Shojaee and several others, among them some women, might be executed tomorrow in Tehran. We ask Un and the international community to do whatever they can in order to stop these executions."

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