Girls as young as 9 are sentenced to death according to an Amnesty International report
|Shaqayeq, 15, has been in prison for almost a year on the charge of armed robbery from a chain store in Tehran. Her death sentence has been issued and she must reach 18 so the verdict can be carried out. Her grandmother came to visit her after a year. (Photo Sadegh Souri see more photographs Here)|
By Amnesty International
Scores of youths in Iran are languishing on death row for crimes committed under the age of 18, said Amnesty International in a new report published today. The report debunks recent attempts by Iran’s authorities to whitewash their continuing violations of children’s rights and deflect criticism of their appalling record as one of the world’s last executioners of juvenile offenders.
Growing Up on Death Row: The Death Penalty and Juvenile Offenders in Iran reveals that Iran has continued to consign juvenile offenders to the gallows, while trumpeting as major advances, piecemeal reforms that fail to abolish the death penalty against juvenile offenders.
“This report sheds light on Iran’s shameful disregard for the rights of children. Iran is one of the few countries that continues to execute juvenile offenders in blatant violation of the absolute legal prohibition on the use of the death penalty against people under the age of 18 years at the time of the crime,” said Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.
“Despite some juvenile justice reforms, Iran continues to lag behind the rest of the world, maintaining laws that permit girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 to be sentenced to death.”
In recent years the Iranian authorities have celebrated changes to the country’s 2013 Islamic Penal Code that allow judges to replace the death penalty with an alternative punishment based on a discretionary assessment of juvenile offenders’ mental growth and maturity at the time of the crime. However, these measures are far from a cause for celebration. In fact, they lay bare Iran’s ongoing failure to respect a pledge that it undertook over two decades ago, when it ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to abolish the use of death penalty against juvenile offenders completely.
Growing Up On Death Row: The Death Penalty and Juvenile Offenders in Iran