Tehran: Iran has again postponed the planned execution of a man arrested at age 17, media in the country reported on Saturday, after international appeals for his life to be spared.
“Arman Abdolali’s sentence which was to be carried out this morning... has been stopped again, and the young man was sent back to prison last night,” Etemad newspaper said on its website, without elaborating.
It is the second time within a week that the execution of 25-year-old Abdolali - who was arrested in 2014 and subsequently convicted of murdering his girlfriend - has been postponed, according to Iranian media.
The Hamshahri newspaper had said this week that the death sentence had been postponed until Saturday, adding that Abdolali would “probably be executed soon”.
Amnesty International had said on Monday that Abdolali was moved to solitary confinement in a prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, in preparation for his execution on Wednesday.
The London-based rights group said he had been sentenced to death twice for murdering his girlfriend but that the execution was stopped both times following an international outcry.
“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt all plans to execute Arman Abdolali,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.
UN human rights experts also appealed to Iran to halt the execution.
“International human rights law unequivocally forbids imposition of the death sentence on anyone under 18 years of age,” said the Geneva-based UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Iran has denied that its use of the death penalty for crimes committed as minors should be taken as a sign that it violates human rights.
The Islamic republic executed at least 246 people last year, retaining its place as the most prolific user of capital punishment in the region and the second worldwide after China, according to Amnesty.