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Comment By UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Liz Throssell On Executions Of A Child And A Young Man In Iran

The executions by Iranian authorities of a 17-year-old child and of a 22-year-old man, on 24 November 2023.

The execution of Hamidreza Azari, who was accused of murder, is the first reported execution of an alleged child offender in Iran this year. We remind Iranian authorities of their obligation, under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to prohibit death sentences and their implementation for crimes committed by individuals below the age of 18.

We are also troubled by the execution, on the same day, of 22-year-old Milad Zohrevand – the eighth person to be executed in the context of the September 2022 protests. Available information indicates that his trial lacked the basic requirements for due process under international human rights law. There are also troubling reports that Zohrevand’s parents were arrested following his execution.

Iran is one of the countries with the highest death penalty figures, particularly for drug-related offences. Minorities also continue to be disproportionately sentenced to death.

We urge the Iranian Government to immediately halt the application of the death penalty and establish a moratorium on its use. Until then, the death penalty may only be imposed for the most serious crimes, which refers to crimes of extreme gravity that result intentionally and directly in death. We also call on the Government to stop using criminal procedures to punish political activists and others for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.

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