In a recent Judiciary meeting, Iranian officials noted that 41% of the male prisoners and 25% of the female prisoners are in jail on drug related offences. Individuals are also being executed for those same non-violent drug offenses, despite continued protests from the international community. Current international law does not allow for executions on drug offenses, which means that Iran is ignoring international law.
From all prisoners, 23% are under investigation, while 77% have been convicted. This means that many are being held without the benefits of a trial or legal representation. Fines, often larger than the families can afford to pay, are part of the sentences for various individuals.
Another issue that has the attention of the international community is Iran’s continued execution of juveniles. The regime has a habit of sentencing these young men and women, then waiting until they are adults to execute them. Alireza Tajiki, a young Iranian man, was recently executed. He was tried and sentenced as a child.
“By going ahead with this execution in defiance of their obligations under international law, and despite huge public and international opposition, the Iranian authorities have again cruelly demonstrated their complete distain for children’s rights. This shameful act marks a critical turning point for Iran, and exposes the hollowness of the authorities’ claims to have a genuine juvenile justice system,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
His execution was the fourth one this year of a juvenile being executed. Additionally, the Iranian parliament has been considering an amendment to their drug law that would have saved multiple individuals who were executed in the month of July on drug charges. The regime is clearly showing no respect for life, despite its fundamentalism and claims to follow Islam.
Tajiki was executed at 21 and arrested when he was just 15 years old. The trial was grossly unfair, relying on confessions gotten through torture and floggings. In 2013, the Iranian authorities introduced what they called reforms to their juvenile law, but despite these changes, the regime continues to condemn dozens of young people to death for crimes committed under the age of 18, in violation of their international human rights violations.
Iran is one of the last few countries in the world that still executes juvenile offenders. As of August 2017, Amnesty International had identified at least 89 individuals on death row who were under the age of 18 when the crime was committed.