Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Cécile Pouilly
Subjects: 1) Iran
We are deeply dismayed to hear about the reported execution in Iran of a juvenile offender on Wednesday 16 January 2013.
According to reports, Mr Ali Naderi, a 21 year old man was executed for a crime he allegedly committed when he was 17 years old. He was sentenced to death for his role in the murder of a woman.
The death penalty cannot be imposed for crimes committed by persons below 18 years of age. The International human rights instruments, particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to both of which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party, impose an absolute ban on the death sentence against persons below the age of 18 at the time when the offence was committed.
This is the first juvenile execution since September 2011, and the authorities appear to have made efforts to prevent such cases. We urge the Government of Iran to end the execution of juvenile offenders once and for all.
There are also concerns about five other individuals, Mr Mohammad Ali Amouri, Mr Sayed Jaber Alboshoka, Mr Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka, Mr Hashem Shabain Amouri and Mr Hadi Rashidi, whose death sentences were apparently recently upheld by the Supreme Court and appear to be at risk of imminent execution. There are serious concerns about the fairness of their trials and allegations that they were subjected to torture.
Over 400 people were reportedly executed in Iran in 2012 alone, the majority of whom were charged with drug-related offences that do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” to which the death penalty might lawfully be applied under international human rights law. We urge the Government to restrict the use of the death penalty, to reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed and to respect international standards guaranteeing due process and the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.
We also condemn the recent spike in public executions. Over 55 executions were carried out in public in 2012, whilst several others have already been recorded this year. These include the hanging last Sunday of two individuals in a park in Tehran. Executions in public add to the already cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty and have a dehumanizing effect on both the victim and those who witness the execution.