Geneva, July 29, 2008) – The Iranian judiciary should immediately halt all executions of juvenile offenders and Iran’s parliament should move swiftly to ban such executions, a group of human rights organizations said today. The groups, which include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, joined by six other international and regional human rights organizations – named below – strongly condemned Iran’s continuing execution of juvenile offenders in a joint statement.
“Iran is executing several children every year, despite the fact that it is banned under international law,” the organizations said. “It is cruel and inhumane to apply the death penalty even to adults, let alone to those convicted for crimes committed before the age of 18.”
This follows the executions by Iranian authorities on July 22 of Hassan Mozafari and Rahman Shahidi, both juvenile offenders, who were defined as persons under 18 at the time of their crime.
Iranian authorities executed Mozafari and Shahidi along with an adult offender, Hussein Rahnama, in the southern city of Bushehr. Bushehr Criminal Court had convicted them of rape, together with another juvenile offender, Mohammad Pezhman, and two other adults – Behrouz Zangeneh and Ali Khorramnejad. Iranian authorities executed Pezhman in May 2007 and the two other adults in October 2007.