WHAT: Demonstration to stop the execution of Delara Darabi
WHEN: From 9am, Monday 20 April 2009
WHERE: Iranian embassy, 16 Princes Gate, London SW7 1PT
Amnesty International members will demonstrate outside the Iranian embassy at 9am on Monday (20 April) against the scheduled execution of a young women sentenced to death for a crime committed when she was under 18 years old. Reports in the Iranian media says that she could be executed on Monday (some reports even state that the execution could be as soon as Saturday).
Delara Darabi, now aged 22, was sentenced to death in 2005. In 2003, together with her 19-year-old boyfriend, Amir, she went to a woman's house where Amir reportedly killed the woman. But Delara initially confessed to the murder, saying that Amir asked her to confess to protect him from execution - as she was under 18, they believed that she could not be sentenced to death.
Since then Delara has retracted her confession but she was sentenced to death all the same. She has been languishing in prison ever since, with some reports that she has suffered from ill-treatment.
Amnesty activists around the world are urgently campaigning to stop her execution. The organisation is urging people to take action online by emailing the Iranian authorities. More details at: www.amnesty.org.uk/delara.
Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock said:
'Delara Darabi should not be executed. She was only a child at the time of her alleged offence.
'In the past, Iran has commuted death sentences after an international outcry, so we hope our campaign could really make a difference. We're urging people to take action online and come to the embassy, to help us try to stop Delara's execution.
'Iran is bound by international law not to execute child offenders yet it continues to do so, leaving the country increasingly isolated as other states abandon this appalling practice.'
Iran has executed at least 42 child offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009. The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Iran is a state party.
For more media information contact the Amnesty International UK press office:
Steve Ballinger, 020 7033 1548
Out of office hours: 07721 398984