UN experts say executions of child offenders must stop: Iran

OHCHR

GENEVA (25 November 2021)  ̶  UN human rights experts* today strongly condemned the execution of Arman Abdolali, convicted for an alleged murder committed when he was 17, and demanded that Iran stop sentencing children to death.

There are currently over 85 juvenile offenders on death row in Iran, sentenced to death following processes that significantly violate international human rights law. The majority of those sentenced to death are from marginalized groups or are individuals who themselves have been victims of abuse.

Arman Abdolali was executed at dawn on 24 November. He was transferred to solitary confinement the previous evening.

“We strongly deplore that the authorities proceeded with the execution of juvenile offender Arman Abdolali, in violation of an absolute prohibition under international human rights law,” the experts said.

Arman Abdolali’s execution had been scheduled and re-scheduled at least on six occasions, during which he was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution only to be returned to his cell at the last minute. Special Procedures mandate holders and experts from Treaty Bodies had on several occasions, including on 12 October, called on the Government to halt his execution.

“This case is emblematic of the deep flaws of the juvenile justice system in the Islamic Republic of Iran and we call on the Government to undertake reforms as a matter of priority,” the experts said. Human rights mechanisms have consistently called on Iran to abolish the death penalty, in particular for juvenile offenders.

“In the meantime, we call on the Government to commute all death sentences issued against juvenile offenders, in line with its international obligations.”

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