08 May 2017 :
Salar Shadizadi, who was sentenced to death for a crime he committed when a child, was released after 10 years from Rasht prison in northern Iran.
Salar, now 25, had faced imminent execution several times in connection with a murder that took place when he was just 15 years old.
In a letter from prison in 2015, Salar explained that he “unintentionally” caused the “catastrophic” death of his childhood friend by stabbing a moving object under a cloth during a “silly game” in the dark. His friend had dared him to go into the garden at night, knowing that Salar was very afraid. Salar said he had only realised it was his friend after he had stabbed the object.
Salar had said that he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated in the investigation stage of his case and was not granted access to a lawyer until his case was sent to court for trial.
In December 2007, he was sentenced to death, a sentence which the Supreme Court later upheld. He was granted a retrial in early 2016 after a global outcry but was re-sentenced to by hung in November 2016.
In February 2017, the family of the deceased agreed to grant him a pardon in exchange for “blood money” (diyah) and he was released on 25 April 2017. According to Iranian law, those sentenced to ‘Qesas’ (retribution), can only be spared the death penalty if the family of the victim agrees to accept a payment.