9 December 2005
The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights issued the following statement today:
Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, today called on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran not to proceed with the execution of Mr. Rostam Tajik, a 20-year-old Afghan national who was only 16 when he is alleged to have committed murder. “Executing a juvenile offender is not the way to mark December 10, which is International Human Rights Day”, Alston observed.
Alston said that he had received a disturbing number of allegations in the course of the past year indicating that juvenile offenders had been executed in Iran. “At a time when virtually every other country in the world has firmly and clearly renounced the execution of people for crimes they committed as children, the Iranian approach is particularly unacceptable.”
“It is all the more surprising because the obligation to refrain from such executions is not only clear and incontrovertible, but the Government of Iran has itself stated that it will cease this practice”, said Alston.
The Special Rapporteur also noted that he had asked in January 2004 to visit Iran on the basis of the standing invitation extended by the Government to experts of the Commission on Human Rights. Since that time the Government has regularly assured him that it will make the necessary arrangements but nothing has happened. “It is now urgent that the Government of Iran should arrange such a visit so that the situation can be clarified”, said Alston.