Iran’s high death penalty rate still troubling as authorities continue to execute prisoners including child offenders, UN independent human rights experts said, expressing dismay at a decision by Iran’s judiciary to press forward with the execution of a juvenile offender, despite repeated calls to halt the killing.
Hossein Shahbazi was 17 years old when he was arrested for the fatal stabbing of a classmate during a brawl.
The court that sentenced him relied in part on confessions that the UN experts claimed were obtained through torture and ill-treatment.
Shahbazi, 20, was also denied access to a lawyer and his family throughout the 11-day interrogation.
“We urge the Iranian authorities to immediately and permanently halt the execution of Hossein Shahbazi and annul his death sentence, in line with international human rights law,” said the experts, who are affiliated to the UN but do not work directly for the organization.
In a statement on Monday, the experts, including Javaid Rehman, special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, said: “We underline again that reconciliation efforts do not replace the government’s obligation to prohibit such executions.
“International law unequivocally forbids the imposition of the death penalty on persons below 18 years of age. Iran must observe its international obligations by imposing de jure and de facto moratorium on the execution of juvenile offenders once and for all.”
According to the experts, another juvenile offender was executed in November.
More than 85 people who committed crimes when they were minors are currently on death row in Iran. (Source: Arab News)