Child Offender Put to Death
(11 June 2008) Iranian authorities hung Mohammad Hassanzadeh, a youth sentenced to death when he was only 15 years old, on 10 June 2008, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. Hassanzadeh, born in 1992, was under the age of 18 when he was sent to the gallows in Sanandaj.
His execution is the second time the death penalty has been applied to a child offender in Iran in 2008; on 26 February, Iran authorities executed Javad Shojaii for a crime he committed when he was 16.“These executions are tragic and they are barbaric. They violate Iran’s legal obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and are beneath the dignity and the morality of the Iranian people,” Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesperson for the Campaign said.
While a few other countries still execute children (such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and Pakistan), Iran has accounted for more than two-thirds of such executions in the past three years.
“Human rights defenders are in shock in Iran. Only yesterday, they believed such executions may be coming to an end after two imminent executions were postponed in Tehran,” Ghaemi said.
The Campaign has compiled a list of at least 106 individuals on death row in Iran for crimes committed under the age of 18.
“We are calling upon the international community to denounce child executions in Iran and around the world, and to take concrete steps to convince the Iranian authorities that such uncivilized practices have negative consequences for Iran’s international and economic relations,” Ghaemi said.