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Amnesty International Outraged at Iran's Execution of Delara Darabi

Human Rights Organization Shocked Iranian Authorities Did Not Inform Her Lawyer About Execution

WASHINGTON -  This morning, Iranian authorities
executed Delara Darabi in Rasht Central Prison. She is the second person
to be executed this year after being convicted of a crime she was alleged
to have committed while still under 18, Amnesty International revealed

"Amnesty International is outraged at
the execution of Delara Darabi, and particularly at the news that her lawyer
was not informed about the execution, despite the legal requirement that
he should receive 48 hours' notice. This appears to have been a cynical
move on the part of the authorities to avoid domestic and international
protests which might have saved Delara Darabi's life," said Hassiba
Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa program.

Delara Darabi was executed despite her having
been given a two-month stay of execution by the Head of the Judiciary on
April 19.

"This indicates that even decisions by
the Head of the Judiciary carry no weight and are disregarded in the provinces,"
said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

Delara Darabi was convicted of murdering a
relative in 2003 when she was 17. She initially confessed to the murder,
believing she could save her boyfriend from the gallows, but later retracted
her confession. She was being detained at Rasht Prison in northern Iran
since her arrest in 2003, during which time she developed a significant
talent as a painter.

Amnesty International does not consider her
trial to have been fair, as the courts later refused to consider new evidence
which the lawyer said would have proved she could not have committed the

Amnesty International had campaigned for her
life since her case came to light in 2006, urging the Iranian authorities
to commute her death sentence and calling for a her re-trial in proceedings
that meet international standards.

The execution of Delara Darabi brings the
number of executions in Iran this year to 140. She is the second woman
known to have been executed. Iran has executed at least forty two juvenile
offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on January 21, 2009,
in total disregard of international law, which unequivocally bans the execution
of those convicted of crimes committed when under the age of 18.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters,
activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human
rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,
freedom, truth and dignity are denied.


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