Behnood Shojaee, a juvenile on death row is in imminent danger of execution.
Despite the fact that his execution was postponed three times, a formal statement from the European Union was released condemning his execution, a joint letter and press conference by 24 human rights groups was written, help from celebrities, and a reduction in blood money, Behnood Shojaee faces execution on Christmas eve.
Two and a half years ago, 17-year-old Behnood Shojaee was convicted of killing a 19 year old boy named Omid during a street fight involving over a dozen boys.
Shojaee says that he tried to stop the fight and used a chard of glass from a broken soda bottle in self defence. He said he hit an attacker once only with the piece of glass. Shojaee’s lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei argues that the coroner found several wounds by various objects making it unable to assess who was responsible for the fatal blow causing death.
At first the family of the victim wanted over 2 million dollars US in “blood money” compensation. After months of negotiation, and his execution being postponed three times, the “diyeh” was reduced to approximately $625,000 USD.
Shojaee who grew up with his grandparents since the death of his mother at age 10 from diabetes and a father living with depression from his tragic loss, he could not afford the required “diyeh”.