Stop Child Executions
Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
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We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the continuous practice of capital punishment for alleged offences committed by Iranian youth under the age of 18.
Article 6.5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) declares:
Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.
Article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides that:
Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.
As a signatory state, the Iranian government is under international obligation to comply with both articles. However, Amnesty International has documented 21 executions of child offenders in Iran since 1990. In many cases, these minors have been imprisoned until the age of 18 and then executed.
In January 2005, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors states' compliance with the CRC, urged Iran to immediately stay all executions of child offenders and to abolish the use of the death penalty in such cases. In the summer of 2006, the Iranian Parliament reportedly passed a bill establishing special courts for children and adolescents. However, it has not yet been approved by the Council of Guardians, which supervises Iran's legislation to ensure conformity with Islamic principles. During the past four years, the Iranian authorities have reportedly been considering legislation to ban the death penalty for child offenders. Recent comments by a judiciary spokesperson indicates that the proposed law would only prohibit the death penalty for certain crimes, and not all crimes committed by children.
In spite of these efforts, the number of child offenders executed in Iran has risen during the past two years. As of March 2007 at least 25 child offenders remain on death row in Iran. Their names and ages (where known) at the times of their alleged crimes are as follows:
1. Delara Darabi, 17
2. Beniamin Rasouli, 17
3. Hossein Toranj, 17
4. Hossein Haghi, 17
5. Morteza Feizi, 16
6. Sa'eed Jazee, 17
7. Ali Mahin Torabi, 16
8. Milad Bakhtiari, 16
9. Farshad Sa'eedi, 17
10. Hossein Gharabaghloo, 16
11. Shahram Pourmansouri, 17
12. Hedayat Niroumand, 15
13. Mohammad Mousavi,
14. Mostafa, 16
15. Mahmoud, 17
16. Hamid, 17
17. Sajjad, 17
18. Farzad, 15
19. Asghar, 16
20. Iman, 17
21. Ne'mat, 15
22. Hamzeh S, 17
24. Reza Alinejad 17
25. Sina Paymand 17
We the undersigned, call on the Iranian authorities to:
- Provide a complete list of all individuals under the age of 18 who are sentenced to death.
- Immediately halt executions and prevent any further application of such penalties against child offenders.
- Take immediate measures to permanently abolish the death penalty for all child offenders in accordance with Iran's obligations as a state party to the ICCPR and the CRC.
We the undersigned, urge The United Nations, The United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights and The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to:
- Demand that the Iranian government immediately comply with its international obligations as defined by ICCPR and CRC.