Alireza Mollasoltani was hanged today, Wednesday, after the appellate court confirmed his death sentence for the murder of Ruhollah Dadashi.
ISNA reports that Mollasoltani was hanged in public in the Golshahr area of Karaj. He was convicted of stabbing Dadashi last July in an altercation led to his death. Dadashi was known as “Iran’s Strongest Man.”
Reports indicate that before the hanging, Mollasoltani shouted to the public calling for mercy.
Some human rights groups have reported that Mollasoltani was still a minor. The Khabar online website had reported in July that Ruhollah Dadashi’s murderer was under 18 and would not be hanged for the time being.
The report indicated that the accused was born on December 25, 1993, and his death sentence would be delayed under December 25, 2011.
However, Ali Dadashi, the victim’s brother, had said in an interview: “According to Islamic law, when an individual commits murder, in order to hang him his age must be calculated in lunar years, and my brother’s murderer is, thus, 18 years of age.”
He added: “Since lunar years are shorter than solar ones, my brother’s murderer is already 18 years and eight months.”
Human rights groups have often criticized Iran for issuing the death penalty to juvenile offenders. In previous year, minors convicted of murder would be held until they reached 18 years of age and then hanged.
The former head of the judiciary, Aytollah Hashemi Shahroudi, issued a directive in 2008 forbidding judges from issuing death sentences to minors. However, the directive was not taken to Parliament for ratification and, therefore, has often been overlooked, especially since Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani became the head of the judiciary.
Last September, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran issued a list of 114 minors on death row in Iran. The campaign says that in the past 10 years, 34 juvenile offenders have been executed in Iran.