Iran: UN rights chief condemns juvenile execution

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on June 26 condemned  Iran's use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders and called on authorities to halt the announced execution of Razieh Ebrahimi. Ebrahimi, who was legally married to her then-28-year-old husband when she was 14, was sentenced to death after killing her abusive husband when she was 17. "Regardless of the circumstances of the crime, the execution of juvenile offenders is clearly prohibited by international human rights law," Pillay said, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a party, which prohibit the execution of those who commit their crimes while under the age of 18. In the same statement, Pillay also criticized Iran's use of the death penalty for political prisoners and for drug-related offenses.

According to the statement, the UN believes Iran has executed more than 250 prisoners in 2014. UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran Ahmed Shaheed in April called on Iran to halt the execution of a woman who killed an employee of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry who she claims was trying to sexually assault her. The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly last year expressed concern over continuing human rights violations in Iran, including executions of minors.

From Jurist, June 27. Used with permission.