Urgent Call for International Pressure to Stop Wave of Child Executions
Issue should be raised in negotiations; 130 Child Offenders on Death Row
(19 October 2009) The international community should condemn in the strongest terms a wave of child executions underway in Iran, and raise the issue in current negotiations with Iran, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, who issued a detailed report on the grave situation of human rights in Iran on 13 October, should lead international efforts to persuade Iran to halt imminent executions of child offenders. In addition, “P5+1” governments, which are engaged in negotiations with Iran, should call for an immediate halt such executions.
Iran is the only country since 2008 to execute child offenders. Three child offenders are due to be executed in the coming days: Mohammad Reza Haddadi, Safar Angooti, and Amir Amrollahi. According to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, an Iranian group, Safar Angooti’s execution is scheduled for 21 October. Iran hanged Behnoud Shojaei 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 executions of child offenders in Iran and noted that at least 130 child offenders are on the death row. The Campaign has received reliable reports that the Judiciary is moving fast to implement the majority of such sentences.
“The world should not be silent in the face of these executions. Children are the most vulnerable members of society; the majority of these child offenders were either framed or suffer serious psychological illnesses, and have had no access to fair trials,” said the Campaign’s spokesperson, Hadi Ghaemi.
“Iran is the only country flouting international law and executing child offenders in large numbers. Members of the P5+1 should not reduce Iran’s rejection of international law to just the nuclear issue. They should strongly demand an end to child executions, and affirm that normal relations with the international community are conditioned on ending this barbaric practice,” he added.
International law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Iran is a party, requires an absolute prohibition on death penalty for persons accused of crimes committed under the age of 18.