According to human rights defenders in Iran, juvenile offender Aydin Delaei Milan is at imminent risk of execution in Iran. The authorities detained him two years ago in Tehran. He is currently 20 years old.
In an act of self-defense, Aydin Delaei Milan killed an abuser on September 10, 2018. However, the State Security Forces (SSF) detained him and transferred him to Urmia, the capital of the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan.
Supreme Court Upholds the Death Penalty
Although Milan was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, the judge sentenced him to execution in flagrant defiance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Supreme Court upheld the death penalty and sent the case to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences.
Following his arrest, authorities took Milan to the youth detention center after preliminary interrogations. He was later transferred to the notorious Rajaeishahr Prison (Gohardasht) in Karaj, Alborz province’s capital in west of Tehran.
In October 2020, this juvenile offender was transferred to the Urmia Central Prison. He has been on death row since then. In Iran, juvenile offenders routinely receive heavy sentences, including the capital punishment in violation of Iran’s commitments under international law. The Islamic Republic is among the few states that execute juvenile and teenage offenders across the globe.
This is while the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Iran adhered to the Convention in September 1991 and ratified it on July 13, 1994.
“No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release shall be imposed for offenses committed by persons below eighteen years of age,” the convention notes in Article 37 (a).
Iranian Authorities Hanged Five Juvenile Offenders in 2020, Killed Several More Under Torture
However, Iran’s judiciary mercilessly issues and implements death penalties against ‘persons below eighteen years of age.’ In 2020, Iranian authorities hanged at least five juvenile offenders, including Shayan Saeedpour, Majid Ismaeelzadeh, Arsalan Yasini, Moayyed Savari (Shia’ pour), and Mohammad Hassan Rezaei.
All these executed persons had been detained and sentenced to death sentences for crimes allegedly committed under the age of 18. Indeed, some were kept in prison for a long time. For instance, Mohammad Hassan Rezaei was behind bars for 12 years, and authorities executed him in Lakan Prison in Rasht, the capital of the northern province of Gilan, on December 31, 2020.
Furthermore, Iranian interrogators killed several inmates, who had been arrested below 18 years of age, under torture. In April 2020, authorities tortured juvenile offender Danial Zeynolabedini to death in solitary confinement in Mahabad Prison. Two days earlier, he had called his family from the prison, saying, “Come and save me.”
Also, in November 2020, interrogators tortured 19-year-old Mohammad Davaji to death at Amirabad Prison in Gorgan, the capital of the northern province of Golestan. Torturers killed Mohammad in front of other inmates, saying, “This is a lesson for you.”
It is time for international organizations to hold the Iranian government accountable for its gross and systematic violations of human rights, particularly children’s rights, dissidents say. The United Nations, UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO, and other rights organizations must pressure the ayatollahs to respect the people’s fundamental rights of life and stop executions. Notably, Iran is the record-holder of executions per capita.