Iran Human RightsUN Urges Iran to Halt Execution of Young Offenders

UN Urges Iran to Halt Execution of Young Offenders

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Reuters: A United Nations human rights body called on Iran on Friday to abolish the death penalty as well as amputation, flogging and stoning for people who committed crimes as minors. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child “deplored” the fact that during its three-week session an Iranian was executed for a killing carried out when he was … Reuters

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA – A United Nations human rights body called on Iran on Friday to abolish the death penalty as well as amputation, flogging and stoning for people who committed crimes as minors.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child “deplored” the fact that during its three-week session an Iranian was executed for a killing carried out when he was 17 — contradicting Iran’s statement that it had suspended the death penalty for people accused of crimes while juveniles.

U.N. officials said Iman Farrokhi, found guilty of killing a member of Iran’s security forces at age 17, was hanged in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison on Jan. 20.

At least two other Iranians who committed crimes as juveniles are believed to be on death row, activists said.

The U.N. body, which has 18 independent experts, issued its findings after examining compliance by 10, including Iran, of the 192 countries to have ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The treaty says people under 18 should not be subjected to capital punishment, life imprisonment or corporal punishment.

The U.N. committee, in its 17-page conclusions on Iran, said it “deplores the fact that such executions have continued,” and urged it to “abolish the death penalty as a sentence imposed on persons for having committed crimes before the age of 18.”

It also called on Iran to suspend “the imposition and execution of all forms of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, such as amputation, flogging or stoning for crimes committed by persons under 18.”

The Convention forbids these punishments to be inflicted on juvenile criminals, but Iranian law allows it and such punishments “are systematically imposed by judicial authorities,” the committee said.

It expressed deep concern over the fact that the age of majority in Iran is 15 for boys and 9 for girls, which implies that they are not protected by the Convention above these ages. This could also result in “forced, early and temporary marriages,” the committee said.

It called for the children of the Baha’i and other religious minorities to be given equal access to education.

The committee said the Iranian delegation, led by Mohamad Mahdi Akhoondzadah, head of international legal affairs at the Foreign Ministry, had said that executions and floggings of people who committed crimes as minors had been suspended because a new juvenile justice bill was before parliament.

The United Nations also said that Yakin Erturk, the U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, would go to Iran at the government’s invitation from Jan 29-Feb 6. She will meet officials, non-governmental organizations and women’s groups.

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