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UN EXPERT ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS URGES IRAN TO STOP EXECUTING JUVENILE OFFENDERS

28 March 2007


The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions issued the following statement today:

“The execution of juveniles in Iran is completely unacceptable”, says Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “The Iranian Government cannot continue to ignore its obligations under international law. In particular, in 1994 Iran ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and made a clear and unambiguous legal commitment not to impose the death penalty for offences committed by persons less than eighteen years old.”

“It is time for Iran to demonstrate that its commitment to international law involves concrete action, not just empty words,” says Alston. “The Government of Iran must immediately commute all death sentences imposed for crimes individuals committed before the age of 18.”

A report released by Alston yesterday referred to the cases of 15 individuals on which he had acted over the past two years. These included nine boys and six girls who had been sentenced to death in Iran for crimes committed when they were under 18. According to the available information four of these juvenile offenders have been executed and two acquitted. Five other death sentences are “on hold” and one is under review. The status of the remaining three cases is unclear.

Alston presented his findings to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Background

Philip Alston was appointed as Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 13 July 2004. In 2006, the Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council, and Alston now reports to the Council.
For further information on the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, see:

http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/executions/
http://www.extrajudicialexecutions.org/

The report that Alston presented to the Human Rights Council on March 27 is UN Doc. No. A/HRC/4/20, and communications with governments are included in A/HRC/4/20/Add.1.


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