Juveniles Continue to Be Executed in Iran Despite International Condemnation

Mahbobeh Mofidi and Ali Kazemi

Within Iran, the #regime continues to use executions as a means of controlling the population and limiting the opposition. One of the key sources of unrest in #Iran are young people, who are living with the results of the corruption and poor economic choices of the ruling mullahs. As a result, the regime seems disinclined to change its policy of executing juvenile offenders, despite the fact that these executions are in violation of international law.

Multiple international leaders and NGOs, as well as the United Nations, have called for a moratorium on executions in Iran. Yet, despite these continued calls for an end to the death penalty in Iran, the regime has continued to ignore these calls and continue their high rate of executions.

What makes these executions even more disturbing is the fact that many of them are based on trials that do not follow international standards for a fair trial. Confessions for crimes are received by means of torture or use of solitary confinement, and legal representation is often denied to these prisoners.

Ali Kazemi is an example of a child offender who received a death sentence, which was recently carried out. When he was 15, Kazemi was convicted of the crime of murder. He was held in jail until he was 22, and then he was executed. His lawyer was not notified, which is a violation of Iranian law and because he was a juvenile when he committed his crime, his execution violates the rules of international law as well.

“By carrying out this unlawful execution, Iran is effectively declaring that it wishes to maintain the country’s shameful status as one of the world’s leading executers of those who were children at the time of their crime,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s the Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

It is important to note that in Iran, there is little difference between the young men or the young women. Both are subject to execution, which is primarily carried out by means of hanging and often in a public place within the prison where these prisoners are being held.

Recently, the Judiciary of the #Islamic Republic of Iran hanged two minor offenders in one day. The last minor to be hanged was Mahboubeh Mofidi. She was charged with killing her husband at the age of 17. Mofidi was hanged in Noshahr Prison. There are at least 80 minor offenders in Iran who have been sentenced to death. Many will be executed after they are considered legal adults. It must be noted that her death was seen as a retribution sentence, which was requested by her husband’s family.

These are executions for what are horrible crimes, but the Iranian authorities do not only kill prisoners for violent crimes. #Protesting against the regime can also result in death, as protesters are arrested and die in the custody of the authorities. Although not officially sentenced, it is clear that the rules of torture and interrogation give broad powers to the prison and security officials to get what information they believe these protesters have.

Protesters arested Mahmoud Masoumi-Shima Babaii-Daroush Zand

Protesters arested Mahmoud Masoumi-Shima Babaii-Daroush Zand

A detained protester in Dezful, believed to be Farzad Chegini, was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location. After 20 days, his tortured body was handed over to his family, along with instructions that his burial be carried out “quietly.”

According to local sources, the Marzan Abad Judiciary in Chalus is being used as a torture center for detained protesters. Agents have brought protest detainees here, where they are subjected to severe torture. Some of the protesters have died here after being subjected to this torture.

The reality for those who choose to stand up to the #regime is an increased risk of death by the hands of the authorities, through torture or by means of execution. Even those who may have committed their crimes are often given sentences that far outweigh the crimes they committed. The authorities use the fundamentalist law of the mullahs to administer what they call justice, but is clearly just another method to suppress the group that the #regime fears the most, its young people.

About Siavosh Hosseini (324 Articles)
My background is in the visual arts, particularly in photojournalism. I have had the opportunity to cover scores of international artistic and news events in the US and across Europe since the mid-1980s. I was active in television newsrooms and production as a graphic designer and producer for more than 12 years in different television and news outfits in Europe.

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