On this date in 2008, Behnam Zare (or Zareh) was hanged in Shiraz for murdering, at the age of 15, another youth during a fight about a bird.
A recording of Zare’s voice in what turned out to be his last call with his lawyer, pleading “I want to stay alive. Please, please I want to stay alive,” was used to open a 2008 documentary against executing juvenile offenders.
That attorney who represented Zare (and created the documentary) was Mohamad Mostafaei — an activist lawyer who described various forms of official harassment for his unwelcome work. Mostafaei has recently been in the news for his representation of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman who made international headlines for receiving a sentence of stoning to death. (Mostafaei also represented cause celebre Delara Darabi, hanged in 2009.)
He was interviewed by the BBC in exile in Oslo. (Read on to the comments for a transcript.)
(Also of interest: Mostafaei’s gut-wrenching description of another child offender’s hanging in October 2009, and the desperate attempts to beg for mercy from the victim’s parents. StopChildExecutions.com has regular coverage of the juvenile death penalty in the Islamic Republic.)