An 18-year-old Iranian boy, who was sentenced to death in Iran for a crime he was charged with when he was only 16 years old, may be executed any moment now, Amnesty International has announced. With the execution of this child offender imminent, possibly only hours away, Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA Executive Directory is urging the Iranian government to halt the execution.
Amnesty International reports that Iran is the main execution of children worldwide with only three other countries having executed child offenders in the past three years, according to the information provided to Amnesty International. Iran executed more child offenders during a three-year period than all the other countries combined. In 2004, for example, China executed on child offender, while Iran executed three children.
Two child offenders were recently victims of the Iranian authorities’ use of the death penalty. The alleged crimes of these child offenders were committed before the age of 18. The government of Iran executed the two child offenders — Mohammad Mousavi and Sa’id Qanbar Zahi — in April and May, respectively. The executions of child offenders Mohammad Mousavi and Sa’id Qanbar Zahi were in direct contravention of international law. International law protects children against execution by the state, stipulating that no person should be executed for crimes committed while under the age of 18.
Iran has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Consider the case of Sina Paymerd, a child who was nearly executed last September for murder. While Sina was on the gallows, he made a last request to play the ney, a Middle Eastern flute, for the final time before his death. The family of the murder victim found themselves so moved by Sina’s playing that they granted the boy a last-minute reprieve. In lieu of the Sina’s execution by hanging, the family asked for 150 million toumans (approximately $160,000 USD). This is an acceptable and legal practice in Iran. Unfortunately, according to Amnesty International, Sina’s family has been unable to raise the money.
Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA Executive Directory says not only is this planned execution morally wrong but it will violate international law. “It is extremely disturbing and morally indefensible that Iran would commit this act — especially against a young person,” said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director. “In addition, if this death sentence is carried out, it would violate international law. We urge the Iranian government to halt this execution now.”
Amnesty International recognizes the right of governments to bring suspected criminals to justice. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as “a violation of the right to life and the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”
Amnesty International Deeply Concerned About Pending Child Offender Execution in Iran, PR NewsWire, July 17, 2007, http://ift.tt/29YxFso
Tags:18-Year-Old Iranian’s Execution Imminent