Death Penalty - Iran executes first juvenile offenders in 2011

At AIUK's recent AGM, I attended a workshop on the death penalty and Amnesty International UK's work in this area. AIUK continues to campaign for the abolition of the death penalty, and will be continuing to campaign strongly for Troy Davis in the US and for the abolition of the death penality in Belarus – the last executioner in Europe. You will find details of both of these campaigns appearing on the AIUK website.

Another area of significant concern for Amnesty is the useof the death penalty in Iran, where juvenile offenders are still executed.

Iran was the only country known to have executed a juvenileoffender in 2010; Mohammad A. was executed on 10 July 2010 in Marvdasht, Iran,for a crime committed when he was below 18 years of age.

The execution of juvenile offenders has continued in Iran in2011.On 20 April 2011 A.N. and H.B. were among three individuals who werehanged in public in Bandar Abbas in Southern Iran, after being convictedinrelation to a rape and murder committed when they were only 17 years old. These were the first executions of juvenile offenders in the world this year.

Executions of juvenile offenders (those convicted of analleged crime committed before they were 18) are strictly prohibited underinternational law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR) and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) both prohibit theimposition of capital punishment for juvenile offenders.

UN human rights experts have also made it clear that publicexecutions serve no legitimate interest and only increase the cruel, inhumanand degrading nature of this punishment.

Following international condemnation of a sharp rise in executions in Iran in December and January, the rate did fall significantly in February. It has now risen again since early April, including the executions of A.N. and H.B. We must ensure that we keep up the international pressure on Iran to end its use of the death penalty and to immediately cease executing juvenile offenders.

For Amnesty's report on Death Sentences and Executions in 2010 – click here

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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