UN Special Rapporteur Concerned About Executions of Minors in Iran
By Mansoureh Galestan
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran has raised concerns over human rights violations in Iran, particularly the widespread use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders, in his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council.
Javaid Rehman, a British-Pakistani legal scholar and Professor of Islamic Law and International Law, expressed regret on February 27 that children as young as nine years old can still be executed in Iran and advised that at least 33 minors have been executed since the supposedly moderate Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013.
He urged the Iranian Regime to “urgently amend legislation to prohibit the execution of persons who committed [a crime] while below the age of 18 years and as such are children, and urgently amend the legislation to commute all existing sentences for child offenders on death row”.
He also asked Iran to provide the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur with a list of all child offenders currently on death row.
He also noted that the death sentence should only be applied to the “most serious crimes”, which is widely thought to refer to premeditated murder, especially as international law prohibits executions for nonviolent crimes.
In recent months, Iran has seen an increased number of financial crimes cases resulting in the convict being given the death sentence, which is the mullahs’ attempt to seem as if they are handling the ongoing economic crises that have led to mass protests.
Rehman also advised that a disproportionately large percentage of persons executed or imprisoned in Iran are from ethnic and religious minorities, including Kurdish Iranian H. Abdollahpour, whose sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in October despite reports that he’d been tortured in detention and denied access to a lawyer of his choice.
He also raised concerns about the detention of dual citizens, the suppression of ethnic and religious minorities, and the crackdown on labour rights.
Rehman said that Iran should:
• End the death penalty for all but the most serious crimes
• Protect from prisoners torture and ill-treatment
• Allow defendants access to a lawyer of their choosing
• Ban all forms of discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities
•End the persecutions of religious and ethnic minorities
This is nothing new, of course, and the Iranian Regime has been doing all this and more for decades. They’ve even been emboldened by the appeasement policy of Europe, which has meant that Europe failed to act regarding previous rights violations. Europe must end this policy and hold the Regime to account.