UPDATED: Kurd in Iran put on death row as teen has days to live unless more money raised
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) family of a 21-year-old youth on death row for the alleged murder of a classmate is struggling to acquire the sum demanded by the parents of the victim for a pardon, according to a local report.
In late 2013, Milad Azimi had been in class when he got into an altercation with another student, during which he reportedly injured the other boy who later passed away in the hospital due to the severity of his wounds, Hamdeli Daily reported on Monday.
Shortly after the incident, the local court issued Azimi an arrest warrant and eventually handed him a death sentence based on the confession the teen had made under interrogation saying he had caused the fatal wounds to his classmate.
However, he later told the court that he had only admitted to the crime under the pressure of his interrogators. Azimi had added that due to the chaotic and crowded fight, he was actually uncertain if he had been the cause of the injury.
It is unclear how the wound was inflicted during the fight or if the use of a weapon was involved.
After years of work, Azimi’s parents only recently convinced the family of the victim to pardon their son, but this on the condition of a hefty payment in Iranian Tomans, equivalent to nearly USD 130,000.
“By selling all our belongings and the aid of charitable people, we collected a sum of 150 million Tomans [USD 36,250],” Fariba Bakhshi, Azimi’s mother, was quoted as saying in the paper’s report. She added they had received about USD 47,500 more from another charity organization, totaling nearly USD 83,750.
On Wednesday, the day Azimi’s sentence was due to be carried out, a relative of the youth told a rights group that they had finally put together the amount of money the victim’s family had demanded.
The death sentence has not been implemented, the unnamed relative told Hengaw, a group that writes on Kurdish rights violations in Rojhilat.
The family had reportedly received donations, handing over the requested sum of Tomans to authorities before it is transferred to the family of the victim.
Early October, Iran executed a woman who was arrested and put on death row as a teen for the murder of her husband.
“Not only was she a child at the time of the crime, she was subjected to a grossly unfair legal process,” Amnesty International had said days ahead of the trial.
Editing by Nadia Riva