UN expert outraged at Iran regime executing a child ‘offender’ again

UN expert outraged at Iran regime executing a child ‘offender’ again

Published by on August 12, 2017

Ms Asma Jahangir, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, has expressed outrage at the execution of a young man who received the death penalty as a child.

Alireza Tajiki was arrested at the age of 15 in 2012 and sentenced to death in 2013 at the age of 16. He was executed on 10 August 2017 despite repeated calls by UN human rights experts, Amnesty International and other international human rights bodies who said the death penalty should never be used against a child.

According to reports about his case, Alireza Tajiki had been tortured for confession and did not receive a fair trial.

In her statement the human rights expert stressed that Mr Tajiki’s death penalty was upheld following judicial procedures which did not meet acceptable international standards of a fair trial or due process.

The full text of her statement follows:

UN rights expert outraged at Iran execution of a young man sentenced as a child

GENEVA (11 August 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir, has expressed outrage at the execution of a young man who received the death penalty as a child.

Alireza Tajiki was arrested at the age of 15 in 2012 and sentenced to death in 2013 at the age of 16.

He was executed on 10 August despite repeated interventions by UN human rights experts, who said the death penalty should never be used against a child, and noted that Mr. Tajiki had reportedly been tortured and had not received a fair trial.

“I am distressed in the extreme to learn that this execution has gone ahead despite twice being postponed on previous scheduled dates,” said the Special Rapporteur.

The human rights expert stressed that Mr. Tajiki’s death penalty was upheld following judicial procedures which did not meet acceptable international standards of a fair trial or due process.

“I am deeply concerned that the court relied on the use of forced “confessions”, which were reportedly extracted using torture, including beatings, floggings and suspension by the arms and feet,” she said. “There has been no investigation into these torture claims.”

“Mr. Tajiki also suffered violations of his rights to a defence, for example by being denied access to a lawyer throughout the entire investigation process and being held in solitary confinement for 15 days without access to his family.”

Ms. Jahangir added: “This treatment would be unacceptable for an adult, but for a child suspect to have been convicted after such grave rights abuses, and then to be executed despite all interventions, is truly shocking.”

The death sentence against Mr. Tajiki was quashed in 2014 but the Supreme Court, but he was resentenced to death by the Provincial Criminal Court of Fars, which ruled that he had sufficient “mental maturity” for an understanding of his alleged crime to be executed. This verdict was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

“I note that Iran has ratified both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which commit the country to protecting and respecting children’s right to life,” the Special Rapporteur noted.

“These Conventions also unequivocally forbid the passing and carrying out of the death penalty on anyone below 18 years of age.”

The human rights expert recalled that Iran has already executed three other juvenile offenders since January and at least 86 are known to be on death row, although the exact figure may be higher.

“The Government of Iran must immediately and unconditionally stop sentencing children to death,” said Ms. Jahangir.  “It must also commute all existing death sentences imposed on children, in line with its international commitments.”

Ms. Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) was designated as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Human Rights Council in September 2016 Ms. Jahangir was elected as President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and as Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Over the years, she has been recognized both nationally and internationally for her contribution to the cause of human rights and is a recipient of major human rights awards. She has worked extensively in the field of women’s rights, protection of religious minorities and in eliminating bonded labour. She is a former Special Rapporteur on summary executions, and on freedom of religion.


Help end the danger in the middle east, and stop the suffering

Read Petition

 

608 signatures

Abolish death penalty in Iran

Please Sign our Petition

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.

[your signature]

Spread the word:

Sign Petition Now