Minor sentenced to death in gross miscarriage of justice in city court
Saleh Shariati was forced to confess to murder under torture when was under 18 years old. He was then sentenced to death in court without any evidence and only upon the oath of 50 men from the family of the deceased man, who were not even witnesses to the death. Most of them did not even know the suspect and but said that they were certain that he was the murderer. Background:
In March 2012, Saleh, who was around 16 at the time, went to a farm in Busher for seasonal work with his father. He was standing next to a well when another worker fell in and died. Abulrasoul Jahankhah, the lawyer of Saleh Shariati, said that the family of the deceased worker initially filed a suit against the owner of the well and no charges were brought against Saleh. He was later arrested as a suspect and according to Mr. Jahankhah, was tortured to make false confessions.
As there were no evidence or justification to confirm the crime, the judge found this to be a “loth” (Arabic word according to which when the judge strongly believes that the suspect has committed the crime despite evidence showing otherwise) and requested “the oath”.
This means that 50 men from the family and relatives of the victim had to take an oath that Saleh was indeed the murderer. None of the people giving the oath were witness to the murder. The oath was carried out even while forensic examinations on the victim’s body did not reveal any evidence indicating that there was a struggle or that Saleh was behind it. Saleh’s lawyer said that in court, three people even testified that Saleh was not behind the death. But the court did not take heed and “the oath” was carried out…
Prior to this, the Supreme Court had overturned the verdict but the death sentence was once again issued by a lower court. Saleh Shariati’s lawyer said that they had once again appealed the verdict.