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Executions of child offenders in Iran must stop, UN experts say

Tehran executed Arman Abdolali for alleged murder committed when he was 17

Peter Kenny   | 25.11.2021
Executions of child offenders in Iran must stop, UN experts say FILE PHOTO

GENEVA

UN human rights experts on Thursday condemned the execution of ArmanAbdolali, convicted for an alleged murder committed when he was 17, and demanded that Iran stop sentencing children to death.

“We strongly deplore that the authorities proceeded with the execution of juvenile offender Arman Abdolali, in violation of an absolute prohibition under international human rights law,” the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) quoted them as saying.

The experts are Javaid Rehman, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran; Mikiko Otani, chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Morris Tidball-Binz, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Nils Melzer, special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Abdolali was executed on Wednesday after being transferred to solitary confinement the previous evening.

“This case is emblematic of the deep flaws of the juvenile justice system in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we call on the Government to undertake reforms as a matter of priority,” the experts said.

“We call on the Government to commute all death sentences issued against juvenile offenders, in line with its international obligations.”

According to the press release, there are currently over 85 juvenile offenders on death row in Iran, sentenced to death following processes that "significantly violate international human rights law."

It said that a majority of those sentenced to death are from marginalized groups or are individuals who themselves have been victims of abuse.

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