SAVE DELARA FROM DEATH!

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    The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, The Head of the Judiciary of Iran Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Minister of the Interior of Iran Hojatoleslam Mustafa Purmohammadi and Speaker of Parliament of Iran Gholamali
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We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned for DELARA DARABI who was sentenced to death by a court in the city of Rasht, Iran for a murder committed when she was 17 years old. She is facing imminent execution.

It is reported that Delara Darabi and a 19-year-old man, Amir Hossein, broke into a house intending to commit burglary, but killed the woman who lived there. Delara Darabi initially confessed to the murder, but subsequently retracted her confession and stated that she had admitted responsibility for the murder at the request of Amir Hossein. This was in order to help him escape execution. He believed that Delara would not be sentenced to death as she was under 18 at the time of the murder. Following two trial sessions in January and on 15 June 2006, the death sentence was unfortunately upheld.

- We urge that the death sentence imposed on Delara Darabi be commuted immediately.

- We remind you of your commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that "sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age". This is clearly the case with Delara Darabi. Furthermore, Iran has ratified this document.

- Please send us details of the trials!

- We are very concerned about reports that Delara Darabi confessed to the murder only in order to protect her co-accused but in spite of this is now sentenced to death.

- We demand that you implement the recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, which called on Iran in January 2005 to immediately suspend the execution of all death penalties imposed on persons for having committed a crime before the age of 18. The UN Committee also demanded Iran to abolish the death penalty as a sentence imposed on persons for having committed crimes before the age of 18. This obligation is required by article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, CRC. Iran has ratified also this document.

- Every government has a responsibility to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences such as murder. However, we unconditionally oppose death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life.