1972: Vassilis Lymberis, the last executed in Greece 1679: St. David Lewis, the last Welsh martyr

2008: Behnam Zare, pleading for his life

August 26th, 2010 Headsman

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.

Evidently about 19 when he was finally put to death, Zare was hanged without any prior notice to his lawyer or his family.

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.)

Just a few weeks ago, Mostafaei fled Iran ahead of an arrest warrant (several members of his family were also arrested as virtual hostages).

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.)

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Children,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Hanged,Iran,Murder,Notable Participants,Ripped from the Headlines

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