Iranian Minor Offender goes on hunger strike to protest authorities’ failure to handle his case

Mohammad Reza Haddadi
(file photo)

Mohammad Reza Haddadi, a death row prisoner in Iran has gone on hunger strike since November 22, in protest to the authorities’ failure to handle his case.
The young man suffers from kidney and digestive problems and has undergone cardiac surgery. The hunger strike has worsened his physical condition and caused severe physical weakness.

His father said Haddadi had been set up by his co-defendants, who were over 18 years of age at the time the crime was committed.

“[Mohammad Reza] did not commit murder; he was fooled by his two co-defendants.They told him that if he claimed responsibility for the murder they would give money to his family.”

Haddadi’s father has repeatedly asked all international and human rights organizations to review the case and defend his innocent son.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi was arrested in October 2003 in connection with the murder of a taxi driver. Three accomplices, who were all over 18-years-old at the time, were convicted of abduction, collusion in murder, and hiding the victim’s body, and issued prison sentences ranging from 15 years to life.

Based on his confession, Haddadi was sentenced to death in 2004 when he was 15, in addition to a 15-year prison sentence.

However, in a letter he sent to the judge eleven days after his arrest,
Haddadi said he had confessed because the co-defendants had promised him money and insisted he would not be convicted of murder because of his age.

Haddadi’s execution has been scheduled and cancelled six times – the last time halted due to global outrage. He’s now spent 14 years – much of his youth – in excruciating anxiety and in constant trauma about his impending execution.