UN expresses strong disapproval of Iran’s execution of a minor

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Iran execution of child condemned by UN human rights office.

NEW YORK, Nov 29: The United Nations expressed strong condemnation on Tuesday regarding the executions of a 17-year-old and a 22-year-old in Iran, urging Tehran to immediately cease the application of the death penalty. The UN Human Rights Office voiced deep concern over the executions that took place on Friday. Elizabeth Throssell, the spokesperson, stated, “The execution of Hamidreza Azari, accused of murder, marks the first reported execution of an alleged child offender in Iran this year.”

Highlighting Tehran’s international obligations, Throssell reminded the authorities of the commitment to prohibit death sentences and their execution for individuals below the age of 18. She further expressed distress over the execution of 22-year-old Milad Zohrevand on the same day, the eighth person to be executed in connection with the September 2022 protests.

Throssell noted, “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. We deplore the executions.”

The September 2022 protests were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, while in custody after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women. Iran responded with a severe crackdown on the protests, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands arrested, according to rights groups.

Throssell highlighted Iran’s high death penalty figures, particularly for drug-related offenses, with minorities disproportionately receiving death sentences. The UN urged Iran to immediately halt the application of the death penalty and establish a moratorium on its use. Throssell emphasized that until then, the death penalty should only be imposed for the most serious crimes that intentionally and directly result in death.

In addition, she called on the Iranian government to cease using criminal procedures to punish political activists and others exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. According to a joint report by IHR and the Paris-based group Together Against the Death Penalty in April, at least 582 people were executed in Iran last year, marking the highest number since 2015 and a significant increase from the 333 recorded in 2021.

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