Amnesty: Dozens of juvenile offenders face death in Iran

Amnesty: Dozens of juvenile offenders face death in Iran

Published by on January 26, 2016

execution-of-childrenDUBAI, Associated Press, Jan. 25, 2016 — Dozens of people who were arrested in Iran for crimes committed before they turned 18 remain at risk of the death penalty despite recent reforms, with many having already spent years on death row, according to a report by Amnesty International released Tuesday.

The London-based group also found that Iran has executed at least 73 juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2015, including at least four last year.

Amnesty’s 110-page report intensifies pressure on Iran at a time when Tehran is working to rebuild relations with the West following last year’s landmark nuclear deal. On Monday, Hassan Rouhani arrived in Rome at the start of the first European trip by an Iranian president in almost two decades.

Iran is one of the world’s largest users of the death penalty, ranking second behind China in 2014, according to the most recent figures from Amnesty. Most executions overall in Iran are carried out for drug smuggling. The country straddles a major narcotics trafficking route linking opium-producing fields in Afghanistan to Europe.

Amnesty’s researchers were able to identify the names and locations of 49 juvenile offenders who face the death penalty, though the group notes that actual numbers could be higher. A 2014 U.N. report put the number of juvenile offenders at risk of execution at more than 160.
The majority of the 73 juvenile offenders Amnesty identified who were put to death over the past decade were convicted of murder. Others were executed for crimes including rape, drug-related crimes and national security offences such as ‘enmity against God.’

Iranian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

In late October, the United Nations ‘ special investigator on the human rights situation in Iran ,Ahmed Shaheed, warned that executions in Iran have risen at an ‘exponential rate’ since 2005 and could top 1,000 in 2015. He said Iran puts more people to death per capita than any other country, adding that the majority of executions do not conform to international laws banning the death penalty for juveniles and non-violent offenders.


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Abolish death penalty in Iran

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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