London, Jul. 22 – The human rights group
Amnesty International today urged the Iranian government to put a halt to the
execution of minors and individuals sentenced to death for crimes they
committed as children.
The international rights group pointed to the execution of three such youths
in the Islamic Republic in the past week despite the country being a
signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which stipulate
that individuals who committed offences while below the age of 18 should be
spared from the death penalty.
In its statement, Amnesty International said, “So far this year, Iran has executed at least four
persons for crimes committed when they were children including one who is
still a child. Amnesty International has recorded 42 executions so far in
2005, but the true number could well be higher”.
“On 19 July 2005, an 18-year-old, identified only
as A. M. and a minor, Mahmoud A, were publicly
hanged in the north-eastern city of Mashhad. According to reports, they were
convicted of sexual assault on a 13-year-old boy and had been detained 14
months ago. Prior to their execution, the two were also given 228 lashes each
for drinking, disturbing the peace and theft”, Amnesty International stated.
“Prior to this, on 13 July 2005, Ali Safarpour
Rajabi, aged 20, was hanged for killing Hamid Enshadi, a police officer
in Poldokhtar. Amnesty International recorded his
death sentence as having been passed in February 2002, when he was 17 years
old, and believes his crime may have been committed when he was only 16 years
old”, the rights group added.
Iran’s Islamic law permits boys above the age of
15 and girls above the age of nine to receive the capital punishment.
In January 2005, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
urged Iran "to suspend immediately the imposition and execution of all
forms of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, such as amputation,
flogging or stoning, for crimes committed by persons under 18".