August 21, 2008

Amnesty International Condemns Iran for Youth Execution


Washington, DC – Amnesty International condemned Iran for the July 19 hanging of Reza Hejazi and called on Tehran to halt all executions of juvenile offenders in accordance with International Law. Hejazi was executed in Isfahan central prison for his involvement in a murder when he was 15 years old. Hejazi was arrested and tried as an adult, although under Iranian law he should have been tried in juvenile court. On November 14, 2005 he was sentenced to death by Branch 106 of the Isfahan General Court, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in Mashhad on June 6, 2006.

After being notified that he was being transferred to a cell reserved for prisoners that are to be executed, Hejazi’s family called his attorney, Mohammad Mostafaei. Hejazi’s attorney spent several hours securing a stay of execution, and he was told in the morning that the execution had been halted. Only an hour later, while traveling back to his office in Tehran, he was told that Hejazi had been executed. This violated an Iranian law which requires a 48 hour notification period for all executions.

According to Amnesty International, “The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6 (5) of the ICCPR and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), of which Iran is a state party to and so has undertaken not to execute anyone for crimes committed when they were under 18.”

NIAC supports Amnesty International’s call for Iran to put an end to juvenile executions and commute the sentences of juveniles on death row.
Hejazi’s execution is the fifth Iranian juvenile execution in 2008. Since 1990 Iran has executed at least 36 juveniles and at least 132 juveniles are currently on death row in Iran.




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