ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iran executed at least three child offenders across the country last month, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) who demanded Tehran end the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by children under 18-years-old.
HRW noted that in January, three people were executed at three different prisons for crimes they committed while under the age of 18.
The victims were Amirhossein Pourjafar, who was 16 when he was arrested, Ali Kazemi, who was 15, and Mahboubeh Mofidi, 17 when she was arrested for allegedly murdering her husband whom she had married when she was 13-years-old.
“Iran should immediately and unconditionally end the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by children under age 18, and move toward a complete ban on capital punishment,” HRW said in a statement.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the organization’s Middle East director, called on Iran to ends its “deplorable practice of executing children,” and urged the Iranian judiciary to “carry out its alleged mission [of] ensuring justice.”
“Iran seems intent on erasing any positive impression gained from modest reforms to its drug execution laws last year by hanging several child offenders in a bloody start to 2018,” she added.
HRW reported that all three victims had not been given a fair trial and, in some cases, were executed before their families were notified of the death sentence.
Despite being a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which bans executing child offenders, Iran has continued to sentence children to death.
From 2014 to 2017, Iran executed at least 25 people for crimes they committed while underage, according to Amnesty International and Iran Human Rights.
“Iranian authorities often claim they are treated ‘unfairly’ by the international community for their human rights record, but they only hurt their case when they have the shameful distinction of leading the world in executions for crimes committed by children,” Whitson concluded.