Another day, another person executed after a forced confession. This time it is a woman who was jailed as a teenager.
Tehran, 16 July (AKI) – An Iranian woman arrested at the age of 13 is due to be hanged after spending 18 years in jail.
Soghra Molaii Najafpour was sent to work as a maid in the northern city of Rasht, on the Caspian Sea, when she was nine years-old and accused of the murder of her employer’s eight-year-old son, Amir.
She claimed responsibility for the murder of Amir in court , reportedly under pressure, and told the judge how she killed the boy.
However, her confession was contradicted by other evidence that raised doubts about her confession. She later said she had not killed Amir, but she was sentenced to be executed.
When Soghra was 17 years old, she was transferred to solitary confinement, where she was kept until she would be executed before dawn of the following day.
Soghra escaped execution after Amir’s mother could not bring herself to witness Soghra’s execution, and had requested that the execution be postponed until a later time.
Soghra, now 31, was freed by the General Court of Rasht after posting 6,000 dollars bail, according to a human rights website called SaveDelara.com.
After learning she was freed, relatives of the victim she allegedly killed filed an appeal to have her execution carried out.
However, according to the site SaveDelara.com, when Soghra was a maid in Rasht, she was subjected to sexual abuse and was repeatedly raped by Amir’s father.
The site claims that on the day of the incident, Amir’s father had once again attacked Soghra and was raping the 13 year-old when Amir walked in and witnessed the crime.
In an attempt to get rid of him, Amir’s father pushed the young boy away, and that is how young Amir hit his head to the wall, fell to the ground, and lost consciousness.
Soghra’s employer then allegedly forced her to dispose the boy’s body in a well because he could not bring himself to do so.
Soghra is now awaiting a date for execution in prison.
Iran has ratified international treaties including the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, which forbids capital punishment for underage youth who commit crimes.
In Iran young men are considered to be adults from the age of 14 and young women from the age of eight and a half, and therefore responsible for any crimes that they commit.