UN blasts Iran for continuing to execute minors

UN blasts Iran for continuing to execute minors
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned Iran after it put to death a 15-year-old boy, the fourth execution of minors this year.
2 min read
29 June, 2018
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein at a UN High Commission session in Geneva [Getty]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned on Thursday Iran's continued use of the death penalty against juveniles. 

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein stressed that executing minors is strictly against international law no matter the circumstances of the crime. 

Hussein's remarks come a day after Abolfazi Chezani Sharahi, who was 15 years old when he was convicted for stabbing and killing a man, was put to death. He is the fourth minor to be executed in 2018 alone. 

"I am deeply disturbed that Iran continues to implement the death penalty against juvenile offenders, with some 85 others reportedly on death row," Hussein said. "We understand that the execution of at least one more juvenile offender, Mohammad Kalhori, is imminent and urge the authorities not to carry it out, but instead to commute the sentences of all juvenile offenders on death row."

Iran is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

Rights groups said Sharahi's treatment while in custody may have amounted to torture.

He was repeatedly put in solitary confinement ahead of his execution, which had been postponed four times before being carried out on Wednesday.

Hussein also criticised Iranian authorities for failing to give adequate notice and timing regarding executions. He said it results in acute distress for inmates as well as their families. 

Hussein said the UN was willing to cooperate with Iran to help the country comply with international law on juvenile justice. 

In 2017, Iran executed more people than any other country except for China. Iran is home to 80 million to China's 1.4 billion. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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