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Comment By UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani On Execution Of Child Offender In Iran

GENEVA (31 December 2020) – Early this morning in Iran, Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee was executed for an offence he allegedly committed when he was 16 years old. This is the fourth confirmed execution of a child offender in Iran in 2020. The execution of child offenders is categorically prohibited under international law and Iran is under the obligation to abide by this prohibition. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet strongly condemns the killing of Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee. We are also dismayed that this execution took place despite interventions and engagement by the UN Human Rights Office with the Government of Iran on this issue.

There are deeply troubling allegations that forced confessions extracted through torture were used in the conviction of Mr. Rezaiee, and there are numerous other serious concerns about violations of his fair trial rights. The authorities also failed to pursue available legal avenues under the Iranian Penal Code to grant a retrial to Mr. Rezaiee.

The execution of Mr. Rezaiee takes place in the context of a series of recent executions in Iran. Between 19 and 26 December, at least eight individuals were executed in different prisons across the country. Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least eight other individuals are at risk of imminent execution.

The UN has repeatedly urged Iran to cease the appalling practice of executing child offenders, but we understand that at least 80 child offenders remain on death row. The High Commissioner urges Iranian authorities to halt all executions of child offenders and immediately review their cases in line with international human rights law.

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