Iran: The last executioner of children

Report
January 1, 2011

Iran: The last executioner of children


2 After Iran, the USA has been responsible for the next highest number of executions of child offenders; US authorities executed 19 juveniles between 1990 and March 2005, when such executions were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
3 The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance has not been fully implemented in all parts of Pakistan – although it has now been extended to the tribal areas, its procedural rules have not been passed so it remains inapplicable.
4 Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Iran (Islamic Republic of), UN Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.123, 28 June 2000, para 7.
5 UN Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.6, 1994, para 8.
6 The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties defines a peremptory norm as "a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of international law having the same character".
7 Committee on the Rights of the Child, 38th session. Concluding Observations: The Islamic Republic of Iran. Recommendation 30. UN Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.254, 31 March 2005.
8 Committee on the Rights of the Child, op cit, para 29.
9 Human Rights Council, fifth session, Agenda item 2. UN Doc. A/HRC/4/20, 29 January 2007.
10 The draft law can be viewed in Farsi at: http://www.spk-gov.ir/News.asp?ItemID=5928.
11 Although overall figures are not available, statements by officials occasionally refer to people under sentence of death. For example, in an interview with the Iranian newspaper ‘Ayyaran on 17 March 2007, Hossein Ali Shahryari, a parliamentarian representing the city of Zahedan, stated that prisons in Sistan-Baluchistan province were holding more than 700 people under sentence of death. Emadeddin Baghi, a journalist and human rights defender who has researched the use of the death penalty in Iran, estimates that there may be as many as 1,400 people on death row in Iran whose sentences have been approved by the Supreme Court.
12 The Chinese authorities insisted that the person executed was a male over the age of 18 at the time of the crime.
13 The Pakistani authorities said the person executed was 18 at the time of the crime.
14 According to Emadeddin Baghi, there are 85 articles in Iranian law that carry the death penalty: 20 in the Penal Code, 11 in the Anti-Narcotics Law, 42 in the Military Penal Code and 12 in other laws.
15 See Articles 12-20 of the Islamic Penal Code.
16 Amnesty International considers the use of "sodomy" laws to imprison individuals for same-sex relations in private to be a grave violation of human rights, including the rights to privacy, to freedom from discrimination, and to freedom of expression and association, which are protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
17 Article 183 of the Islamic Penal Code.
18 Articles 81, 126 and 133 of the Islamic Penal Code.
19 The law (in English translation) may be viewed at http://www.unodc.org/enl/showDocument.do?documentUid=2511&node=docs&cmd=add&country=IRA.
20 These are sentences of execution, hodoud punishments, sentences of qesas and sentences where the penalty is more than six months’ imprisonment or a fine of more than 1 million rials.
21 The functions of the Revolutionary Courts are described by the Judiciary at: http://www.iranjudiciary.org/courts-revolutionarycourts-fa.html.
22 The Special Court for the Clergy, established by a decree of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1987 to try Shi’a clerics or lay people whose cases are connected to the clergy, and which operates outside the framework of the judiciary, can also sentence people to death. However, Amnesty International is not aware of any cases of child offenders who have been sentenced to death by this court.