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Iran Urged to End Executions of Juvenile Offenders

Iran Urged to End Executions of Juvenile Offenders  The Iranian judiciary has been urged by a coalition of human rights organizations to end its recent spate of mass executions, especially those of juvenile offenders.  The groups, which include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, joined by six other international and regional human rights organizations – Iran Human Rights; Iranian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LDDHI); Penal Reform International; Human Rights Association; Stop Child Executions; and Vivere– strongly condemned Iran’s continuing execution of juvenile offenders in a joint statement.  
 
Iran is executing several children every year, despite the fact that it is banned under international law,” the organizations said. “It is cruel and inhumane to apply the death penalty even to adults, let alone to those convicted for crimes committed before the age of 18.”
 Announcing the executions, the Iranian authorities said those hanged had committed serious crimes such as drug smuggling and murder. However, they named only ten of the men executed and gave no other details about any trials in which the 29 were convicted. In other cases, argues Amnesty International, prisoners have been sentenced to death and executed after unfair trials. The Iranian authorities continue to fly in the face of the global trend when it comes to executions, despite the UN General Assembly resolution of 18 December 2007 which calls on States “to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.” The resolution, which was passed by a large majority of UN member states, also called on governments to inform the UN Secretary General about their observance of international “safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.” The organizations’ statement continued: "sending almost 30 people to their death by hanging in a single day invokes a grotesque image of Iranian judges. It is abhorrent that there is no information about those executed and it raises serious concerns about due process and rule of law. From  www.amnesty.org and www.hrw.org

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