News : Human rights

Iranian Regime Continues to Execute Juvenile Offenders

Iran Executes Juvenile

The Iranian regime, despite international norms and conventions, is still executing prisoners that were juveniles at the time of the alleged offense. It is an alarming practice that shows the true colors of the brutal regime.

Human rights organizations and activists around the world have been calling on the Iranian regime to stop executing juveniles but the situation remains unchanged. Last year Amnesty International reported on the situation, saying that the Iranian regime is ending the lives of young people before they even reach adulthood.

The organization described the practice as “horrific”, highlighting that girls as young a nine can be executed in the country. For boys, the age is 15.

International laws advising countries on the use of the death penalty state that it is illegal to execute any individual that was under the age of 18 when the alleged crime they were charged with was committed. Iran has completely disregarded these legal guidelines.

Furthermore, Iran’s regime ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC or UNCRC). This human rights treaty has the aim of setting out the rights of children in terms of health, economics, social, political, civil and cultural issues. Iran adhered to the convention in 1991 and ratified it in 1994, meaning that it is bound to it by law.

In 2012, Iran’s regime changed its laws regarding the execution of juveniles. It considered that girls are fully responsible for their crimes at the age of nine, and boys at the age of 15.

On Friday 25th October, the Iranian regime executed Saeed Mohammadi, a 21-year-old Iranian that allegedly committed murder at the age of 16. The state-run press agencies, as is usually the case with highly controversial executions, has not reported on this execution.

U.N. special investigator on human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman has described the situation as “distressing”. In a report that he presented to the UN General Assembly last week, Mr. Rehman said that there are approximately 90 individuals currently on death row that were minors at the time of their alleged crime.

He has said that execution is a major concern. In the past few months since July, there have been more than 173 executions, two of whom were only 17-years-old.

This estimation is rather a conservative estimate, given that the Iranian regime does not publish official data regarding executions. And even if it did, it could not be trusted given the regime’s long history of deception.

The human rights situation, in general, is very worrying. The regime is under immense domestic pressure (not to mention international pressure because of sanctions) and it is trying to contain the widespread discontent that is so present. Protests, strikes, and anti-government demonstrations are taking place on a daily basis and the regime is resorting to crackdowns on the people to silence the dissent.