Possibility of Family Forgiveness for Mohammad Reza Haddadi after Ebadi Talks to Kin
Mohammad Reza Haddadi is in danger of imminent execution in Iran for a murder that took place when he was 15 years old. Following an interview with Haddadi’s father, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran contacted Mehdi Rahmat, one of three sons of Mohammad Bagher Rahmat, the murder victim, to seek his opinion about the execution. Rahmat, who was savagely murdered in 2003, was survived by three sons: Mehdi Rahmat, a computer analyst, Hossein Rahmat, a pharmacist, and Mohammad Rahmat, an attorney.
During the interview, Mehdi Rahmat shared shocking details about the murder and was critical of the way the case has been presented by human rights organizations and the press. Rahmat believes that there are inconsistencies between what is in the case file and what has been said in the press.
At the end of the interview, when asked whether he would be willing to forgo the Qisas for his father at the request of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Shirin Ebadi. After several minutes of silence he said, “I can’t say no. I can’t turn down Ms. Ebadi. I can’t do it on humanitarian grounds. I can’t turn down someone who is a source of honor for the country, someone who has made history, even though she has not been appreciated.”
Following the Campaign’s talk with Rahmat, attorney and Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi contacted him.
Regarding her telephone conversation with Mehdi Rahmat, Ebadi said, “I spoke with Mr. Rahmat today and asked him to consider the issue with kindness and tenderness. The Qisas ruling has been issued and the Head of the Judiciary has issued permission to carry out the execution. This young man is on the threshold of execution, so I asked him to exercise Islamic kindness and forgiveness and to forgive the blood of this child to make his father’s soul happy, and to forgive the Qisas. He said that the issue has to be discussed in the family and everyone’s agreement must be obtained, so he needs time to make contact. I asked him to inform the Implementation Unit [of the Judiciary about the delay] while they discuss this with other members of the family to encourage them to consider forgiveness. He said that if other family members agree with a delay for the execution, he would make the request. Our contact was cut off at this point. I hope that the family of the deceased would view the issue with Islamic kindness and to forgive the life of this young man.”
In his interview with the Campaign, Rahmat provided details about the murder case and information in the case file. He said that several interviews conducted by certain legal sources close to the case have caused anguish among the family members, “making the forgiveness very difficult.” It seems the way information has been disseminated about the case has deeply hurt the feelings of the victim’s family, putting extra pressure on them, which has led to their inability to forgive Haddadinia.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran respects the victim’s family and their opinions. The Campaign believes that no punishment or action can compensate for the real and emotional loss caused to the family, and hopes that the kin of the victim would consider forgiving the suspect and to prevent another murder. Considering the discussions of recent days, the probability exists that the Rahmat family my show generosity and kindness in order to save Mohammad Reza Haddadi’s life.