۱۳۹۹ اردیبهشت ۴, پنجشنبه
UN rights experts appalled by Iran’s execution of child offender
GENEVA (21 April 2020) – Two UN human rights experts today expressed their dismay that the Islamic Republic of Iran has again violated international human rights law by executing by hanging this morning child offender Shayan Saeedpour.
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, also expressed grave concerns that further executions may take place as early as tomorrow morning.
Born on 21 September 1997, Mr. Saeedpour was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in October 2018. The crime allegedly took place on 16 August 2015, when he was only 17-years-old.
The Supreme Court of Iran upheld the sentence in February 2019. This decision reportedly failed to consider Mr. Saeedpour's age at the time of the offence or whether reported mental health concerns meant he had not reached full mental maturity and should have been exempted from the death penalty under Article 91 of Iran's Penal Code.
"We are shocked that the Iranian authorities have once again defied their international obligations by executing a child offender," the experts said. "We have repeatedly reminded the Iranian government and judiciary that international human rights law is clear: the application of the death penalty to child offenders is strictly prohibited and its practice is an egregious violation of the right to life."
The experts noted with great concern that the state prosecutor reportedly pressured the family of the murder victim to request the application of the death penalty to Mr. Saeedpour, which may have been prompted by the fact that Mr. Saeedpour had escaped from prison during protests concerning COVID-19 on 27 March 2020. He was re-arrested a few days later. Under Iranian law, the family of a murder victim can choose to apply the death penalty or accept blood money and pardon the offender.
"Iran consistently claims its officials intervene in cases to prevent the death penalty being applied by asking the victims' families to accept blood money and pardon the offender. We are appalled that in this case Iranian officials allegedly promoted the application of the death penalty to a child offender," said the experts.
The experts have also received unconfirmed reports that the execution of another child offender may have taken place on 18 April 2020. Other individuals involved in prison protests in recent weeks over the COVID-19 outbreak have also reportedly been killed by security officers or may face execution, possibly as early as Wednesday morning, 22 April. While these individuals reportedly were already facing death sentences, it is believed their executions are being expedited due to their participation in prison protests.
"We are highly disturbed that the Iranian authorities are reacting to protests in prisons over COVID-19 by using torture and ill-treatment that results in extra-judicial killings, or through executions," they said.
"We urge the Iranian Government to immediately halt all executions and for security forces to end the use of excessive force that has resulted in the loss of life and to launch independent and impartial investigations into these allegations," the UN human rights experts said.
Mr. Javaid Rehman (Pakistan), was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran on 6 July 2018.
Ms. Agnes Callamard (France), was appointed the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on 1 August 2016.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
UN Human Rights, Country Page — Iran
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Bachelet condemns execution of child offenders in Iran
GENEVA (22 April) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday condemned the second execution of a child offender in the space of just four days by the Iranian authorities.
Shayan Saeedpour is reported to have been executed in Saqez prison in Kurdistan Province on Tuesday 21 April. He had been sentenced to death for a crime allegedly committed when he was under 18, following a judicial process that appears to have been deeply flawed. Mr. Saeedpour was among some 80 prisoners who escaped from Saqez prison following a protest against prison conditions on 27 March amid the COVID-19 outbreak. He was rearrested on or around 3 April.
Last Saturday, 18 April, Majid Esmailzadeh was also reportedly executed in Ardabil prison in Ardabil Province. He was arrested in 2012, and convicted on a charge of murder allegedly committed when he was under 18.
The death of a third person, Danial Zeinolabedini, also sentenced to death despite being under 18 at the time of the offence, was confirmed on 2 April after he was beaten by officials in Miandoab prison in West Azerbaijan Province. He had been transferred there along with other prisoners who had rioted in Mahabad prison on 28 March in protest at prison conditions and the failure of the authorities to temporarily release them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The executions of these two child offenders are absolutely prohibited under international human rights law,” the High Commissioner said. “Numerous United Nations bodies and experts have made it clear time and time again that the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18 at the time of the offence is strictly prohibited.”
“Despite repeated interventions and engagement by my own Office with the Government of Iran on this issue, the sentencing and executions of child offenders continue,” Bachelet said. “This is both regrettable and, given the clear illegality of these actions, reprehensible. I repeat my call on Iranian authorities to honour its international human rights obligations, immediately halt all executions of juvenile offenders and commute all such death sentences.”
“In addition,” she said, “the beating to death of Danial Zeinolabedini, while in State custody, is a grievous violation of the right to life under international human rights law.”
Bachelet reminded the Iranian authorities that the UN Human Rights Office had requested them to immediately conduct an independent and impartial investigation into Zeinolabedini's death and hold those responsible to account.
“The fact that two of these child offenders who have lost their lives in the past three weeks had been involved in protests driven by fear of the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention raises grave concerns about the possibility of expedited executions of other death-row prisoners who were involved in those protests,” Bachelet said.
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