According to official statistics released by Amnesty International, from 1994 till the end of 2011 47 children have been executed in Iran. This number is 8 times higher than the total number of children executed in the rest of the world. This number has increased since then.

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In 1994, when Iran joined the Convention of Children’s Rights, the Children’s Rights activists were of the belief that this would put an end to the execution of children that had taken place in previous years. However, the increasing number of executions of children shows that there is still a long way to go to achieve this goal.

manArticle 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states: “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age”.

Also, according to Article 6 of Part III of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Iran has joined, “Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women”.



growing-up-on-deathrowAmnesty International in a statement issued in 2016 states: “Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have acknowledged the grim reality of juveniles arrested for alleged charges attributed to them while under the age of 18, having to wait until they reach the age of 18 to be executed.

“The conscience of humanity has to wake up and take action. Like many other juveniles, they are waiting to turn 18, the age of adulthood, freedom and maturity. However, for them it is a bitter wait, and the maturity, a very wicked maturity, brings with it the sense of death. They wait in prison to grow older and reach the age 18, at which point they are sent to the gallows.

“Iran is one of the last countries on earth that continues to issue death sentences for juveniles. Young people are held in prison for months or years, in order to be hanged on the gallows at the age of 18, according to the constitution”.

Amnesty International’s report lists 73 executions of juvenile offenders which took place between 2005 and 2015.

According to the UN, at least 160 juvenile offenders are currently on death row. The true numbers are likely to be much higher, as information about the use of the death penalty in Iran is often shrouded in secrecy.

International Liberty Association is trying to raise awareness of this gross violation of Human Rights and stop the executions of Children in Iran.

The following facts and figures should be noted. They speak for themselves and show why the regime continues to execute children as a means of terrorizing Iranian youth.

Facts & figures

Age structure in Iran: (Iran’s population is estimated at 80 million in 2014)

CIA World Factbook”

0-14 years: 23.7% (male 9,834,866/female 9,350,017)

15-24 years: 18.7% (male 7,757,256/female 7,341,309)

25-54 years: 46.1% (male 18,955,874/female 18,289,849)

55-64 years: 6.3% (male 2,519,630/female 2,603,458)

65 years and over: 5.2% (male 1,941,692/female 2,246,762)

  • Youth is the largest population bloc in Iran. Over 60 percent of Iran’s 80 million people are less than 30 years old.
  • Iranian youth are among the most politically active in the 57 nations of the Islamic world. As the most restive segment of Iranian society, the young also represent one of the greatest long-term threats to the current form of theocratic rule.
  • Young activists have influenced the Islamic Republic’s political agenda since 1997. After the 2009 presidential election, youth was the biggest bloc involved in the region’s first sustained “people power” movement for democratic change, creating a new political dynamic in the Middle East.
  • The Islamic Republic forcibly regained control over this most rebellious sector of society through detentions, expulsions from universities, and by expanding the powers of its own young paramilitary forces.
  • But the demands of young people have not changed, and anger seethes deeply beneath the surface. The regime also remains vulnerable because it has failed to address basic socio-economic problems among the young.
  • Iran is now one of the youngest societies in the world, skewing politics, the economy and social pressures. The demographic bulge is one of the biggest threats to the status quo.
  • Iran is one of the most tech-savvy societies in the developing world, with an estimated 30 million Internet users, led by young people.
  • Iran boasts between 60,000 and 110,000 active blogs, one of the highest numbers in the Middle East, led by young people.

Tip of the iceberg of the atrocities carried out against Iranian children by the Mullahs

Two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, who were publicly hanged by agonizing slow strangulation in the city of Mashhad on 19 July 2005.

This 18-year-old boy was hanged in public in Ghaemshahr, Iran on 14 September 2013 for a crime he allegedly committed as a juvenile offender.

The above scenes have been repeated many times.

3-boys19 October 2009 – L to R: Mohammad Reza Haddadi, Safar Angooti, and Amir Amrollahi, three child offenders, are due to be executed in the coming days: Safar Angooti’s execution is scheduled for 21 October.




Iran hanged Behnoud Shojaei (right) on 12 October, the third child offender to be executed in 2009. On 13 October, UN expert on extrajudicial, arbitrary or summary executions Philip Alston condemned the continued execution of child offenders in Iran and noted that at least 130 child offenders are currently on the death row.

“The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran”

sinya-paymard18 July 2007 – A lucky juvenile “Sina Paymard” saved by a flute – His crime was murdering-at the age of 16- a drug dealer. His last request before execution was to play a ney (Persian flute). He played it so movingly that the family of the victim reprieved him. This power under the Mullah’s sharia law came at a price: the reprieve bought time for the families to negotiate alternative financial compensation known as diyeh. Come July, Sina’s family was still $90,000 short, and he was shifted to Tehran’s Evin prison to do the whole thing all over again. Sina’s new execution date received worldwide attention: … helping the family scrape together enough from donors (“notably a substantial donation from a university lecturer”) to make good his escape.

fatemeh-and-samad4 October 2015 – Iran: Execution of two juvenile offenders in just a few days makes a mockery of Iran’s juvenile justice system – “Amnesty International “

Fatemeh Salbehi, a 23-year-old woman, was hanged yesterday for a crime she allegedly committed when she was 17, only a few days after another juvenile offender, Samad Zahabi, was hanged for a crime he also committed at 17.

Fatemeh Salbehi was hanged in Shiraz’s prison in Fars Province, despite Iran being bound by an absolute international legal ban on juvenile executions, and severe flaws in her trial and appeal. Samad Zahabi was secretly hanged in Kermanshah’s Dizel Abad Prison in Kermanshah province. Horrifically his family said they only learned of his fate after his mother visited the prison on 5 October 2015. “With these executions the Iranian judiciary has yet again put on display its brazen contempt for the human rights of children, including their right to life. There are simply no words to adequately condemn Iran’s continued use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders.”
“Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme”

Read the article here

ebrahim-hajti22 April 2014 – A juvenile offender (Ebrahim Hajati) was hanged in the Vakilabad prison of Mashhad (North-eastern Iran) on Sunday. He was convicted of a murder committed when he was 16 year old. On Thursday three juvenile offenders were hanged in the Bandar Abbas prison (Southern Iran). Ebrahim’s family were informed only half a day before the execution.

Read the article here

benham-zare26 August 2008 – Behnam Zare (or Zareh) was hanged in Shiraz for a crime which he had committed at the age of 15. He was finally put to death at the age of 19. Zare was hanged without any prior notice being given 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.

Read the article here

zareZare’s execution closely follows the execution of juvenile offender Seyyed Reza Hejazi at Isfahan Central Prison on 19 August 2008. Hejazi was 15 at the time of the crime.

As in the case of Zare, the authorities did not notify Hejazi’s lawyer, also Mohammad Mostafaei, 48 hours prior to the execution. The Prison authorities refused to allow Mostafaei to visit Hejazi on the morning of the execution, and he eventually left after a prison official told him the execution had been stayed. However, prison officials executed Hejazi an hour later.

“The Iranian authorities’ willingness to lie to lawyers and to deprive families of a last chance to see their loved ones only underscores the depravity of these executions.” said Clarisa Bencomo, researcher on children’s rights in the Middle East at Human Rights Watch.

On July 8, 2008, Human Rights Watch and 23 other major international and regional human rights organizations called on Iran to halt juvenile executions.

Read the article here

saman20 February 2015 – The Kurdish political prisoner Saman Naseem who was sentenced to death for offences he allegedly committed at 17 years of age, was executed in the prison of Urmia (Northwest of Iran). Saman’s family have been asked earlier today to collect Saman’s body tomorrow, Saturday 21st of February. … According to reports, Saman Naseem didn’t have access to his lawyer during early investigations and according to a letter he wrote from prison he was tortured, which included the removal of his finger and toe nails and being hung upside down for several hours. In the letter, Saman said: “During the first days, the level of torture was so severe that it left me unable to walk. All my body was black and blue. They hung me from my hands and feet for hours. I was blindfolded during the whole period of interrogations and torture, and could not see the interrogation and torture officers.”

Read the article here


Juvenile offender, Razieh Ebrahimi, has been sentenced to death in Iran for the murder of her husband. Razieh has reportedly admitted to shooting her husband while he was asleep in 2010. She has said that she did so after years of being abused, physically and psychologically. At 17 years old, she was still a child at the time of the crime. Razieh Ebrahimi was married to her husband at the age of 14.

She is now mother to a six-year-old child. Amnesty understands that Razieh’s lawyer submitted a retrial request to the Supreme Court on the grounds that she was under 18 at the time of the crime, but that the Supreme Court refused this request.

Razieh’s case has already progressed to Iran’s Office of the Implementation of Sentence, meaning that her execution could take place at any moment. Since 2009, Iran has executed at least 11 child offenders, making it the country with the world’s highest number of child executions.

“Amnesty International Online Petition – Save the life of this child bride”

two-prisoners04 February 2016 – Two Baluchi prisoners were hanged at Yazd Central Prison on drug related charges. The executions were reportedly carried out on Monday February 1. According to the Baloch Activists Campaign, the names of the prisoners are Khaled Kordi and Moslem Abarian. A relative of Khaled Kordi confirms to Iran Human Rights (IHR) that both prisoners were under the age of 18 at the time of their arrest. Iranian authorities carried out the executions without informing family members of the prisoners.

The two prisoners were reportedly riding a bus to work when they were arrested by Iranian authorities for drug offences. The relative tells IHR that he believes Khaled and Moslem were innocent and that the drugs were planted on them by someone else on the bus.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a signatory, bans the death sentence for offences committed under the age of 18. “Iran Human Rights”

mahsaMahsa is 17. She fell in love with a boy and intended to marry him, but her father was against the marriage. One day she had an argument with her father, got angry, and killed him with a kitchen knife. Mahsa’s brothers are requesting the death penalty for her.

She is marking time until she and the boy turn 18, when their executions will be carried out…

Read the article here

shaqayeqShaqayeq, 15, has been in prison for almost a year on a charge of armed robbery from a chain store in Tehran. She and her boyfriend entered the store, and when the police arrived, her boyfriend escaped but Shaqayeq was arrested.

Her death sentence has been issued and she must reach 18 so the verdict can be carried out. Her grandmother came to visit her after a year.

Read the article here

mohammad19 June 2008 – Some 84 juvenile offenders in Iran currently await execution; however the true number may be much higher. Contrary to the law, on June 10th a teenager by the name of Mohammad Hassanzadeh was hanged.

The execution has aroused international condemnation, such as that of the Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the execution of Mohammad Hassanzadeh.

While Hassanzadeh’s execution took place, another teen on death row, Mohammad Feda’i, now has a glimmer of hope, as his execution has been postponed for another month.

Feda’i has been on death row since he was 17 years old, following a trial at which he was not given adequate representation.

Feda’i’s confession was also laden with allegations of torture. While Feda’i awaits his fate, others await their schedualed execution dates. “Cassandra Clifford”

Read the article here

shadizadi07 August 2015 – Shadizadi set to be hanged on Monday, as part of an unprecedented Iranian execution spree.  The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the implementation of the death sentence for child offender Salar Shadizadi and ensure that a new request for a judicial review made by his lawyers earlier this week is granted without delay, said Amnesty International.  The execution of Shadizadi, who was jailed and sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was just 15 years old, was originally scheduled for 1 August and then postponed to 10 August after an international outcry.

Shadizadi, now 24, was sentenced to death after a conviction for the murder of a friend in 2007.The principle of qesas (retribution-in-kind), grants the victim’s family the exclusive right to pardon.  Amnesty International’s Acting Middle East and North Africa Director “Said Boumedouha” said: “The Iranian authorities are shirking their responsibilities by sentencing Salar Shadizadi to death and claiming afterwards that his fate is in the hands of the families involved”.

“They must immediately quash his sentence and grant him a fair retrial without resorting to the death penalty.”

Read the article here

The roots of Juvenile offending
what turns little angles into offenders


Conditions of life

On 27 April 2014, Rouhani’s deputy for women and family affairs Shaheen Dokht Molaverdi spoke to the state-run news agency of Mehr:

“The unemployment rate of 15-24 year old women in Iran is 46%. According to the 2012 census, 12.1% of Iranian women are responsible for earning a living for their families, while 82% of them are unemployed. That can have many consequences and cause social damage.”

On 25 October 2013 Adel Azar, head of the Statistic Center of Iran, told the Mehr news agency:
“The unemployment rate for youth is twice that of the general unemployment rate, this number means that we are in the crisis zone regarding the unemployment rate.”

About the dimensions of poverty: according to standards announced by the regime, a monthly income of less than 180,000 Toman (about $600) for every family of five people is considered to be below the poverty line, and the absolute poverty line for a family with five persons is 400,000 Toman every month (about $1330).

On 6 March 2014, the state-run news agency of Fars (affiliated with the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) reported that Mussalreza Servati, a member of the mullahs’ parliament Plan and Budget Committee, said: “In Iran, 15 million people live below the poverty line. This is about 20% of the population, which is a significant number. This is in a situation where 7 million of the people below the poverty line do not benefit from the services of any support institutions, nor are any services are offered to them.”

According to sources inside the country, the true figure is closer to 10 million unemployed and 50 million below the poverty line.

Poverty and its consequences affect more than just the middle-aged and young adults. Child labour and trafficking have become a serious issue. According to a report by the official news agency of Fars, Mohammad Taghi Hosseini, the deputy of Ministry of Labour, said in the convention of children rights on 9 March 2014:
“Unfortunately, the issue of buying and selling children is one of the current problems of this society. Some of these children are sold as soon as they are born in the hospital, and when they are about three years old they go onto the streets. And a number of them go onto the streets when they are 6-14 years of age, due to the poverty of their families. Such issues do exist in the country; although the purchase and sale of children in Iran is not officially recognised.
These children are given to others because of the poverty of their families and they even agree to sell their children at a very low price. Most women who sell their children do not know what happens to them after the sale.”

The government generates only about 300,000 of the roughly 1 million jobs needed annually to absorb young people entering the labour market. Iran’s economy would need to grow by 10 percent annually to reduce youth unemployment. The International Monetary Fund predicts only 0.6 percent growth in 2015. “United States Institute of Peace – The Iran Primer”

All the above facts & figures force children to leave their normal life with their families and go onto the streets and do whatever they can to earn money in order to survive. this takes them to a place where they shouldn’t be.

Playing music in the streets – I am tired of this music we are playing every day. I hope to collect some money soon and go home.

Playing music in the streets – I am tired of this music we are playing every day. I hope to collect some money soon and go home.

Hard Labour – I hope to get enough money today to buy some medicine for Mummy. She is very sick. Oh God help me to save her life. She is the only thing left for me in this world.

Hard Labour – I hope to get enough money today to buy some medicine for Mummy. She is very sick. Oh God help me to save her life. She is the only thing left for me in this world.

Hard Labour – I hope to get enough money today to buy some medicine for Mummy. She is very sick. Oh God help me to save her life. She is the only thing left for me in this world.

At the end of the day

Street Vending – Please, please buy this from me. I need to feed my family. My dad is unemployed. I don’t want to see him crying anymore.

Street Vending – Please, please buy this from me. I need to feed my family. My dad is unemployed. I don’t want to see him crying anymore.

Street Vending – Please, please buy this from me. I need to feed my family. My dad is unemployed. I don’t want to see him crying anymore.

Studying at school – How can we study at this school? It is not safe. The teacher keeps promising everything will be alright soon, but I have seen him going out and wiping away his tears every time he says that.

Studying at school – How can we study at this school? It is not safe. The teacher keeps promising everything will be alright soon, but I have seen him going out and wiping away his tears every time he says that.

Doing homework in the streets – I have to finish my homework. I just need to be able to concentrate.

Doing homework in the streets – I have to finish my homework. I just need to be able to concentrate.

Poverty – We have no home; nowhere to go and today I could not even find anything in the garbage to eat. How can we feed ourselves today?

Poverty – We have no home; nowhere to go and today I could not even find anything in the garbage to eat. How can we feed ourselves today?

Poverty – At least, he is asleep in the box and does not know what is happening.

Going to watch Public Hangings

Sometime we go to watch grown up people’s play. They hang each other from cranes and then stay and watch how the man is dancing with his head inside the rope. I don’t like this game. When I grow up, I want to dance on the ground in a Rose Garden.

14 November 2013 – Mohammad (Marvan) Ashoubi a seven year old Feyshouri child from the suburban of Fars province has died in a game, by mimicking execution. After the recent execution of two Feyshouri citizens in Shiraz’s Adel Abad prison, the curiosity of this innocent child drove him to play a deadly game, which ended in his death.  Sadly, this child was playing and dangling on a rope that was used for drying clothes in the yard while a toy-car was under his feet. This moved and caused him to choke and lose his life. “HRANA News Agency”

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