Iran Human Rights (IHR)- The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a juvenile offender, on death row for a murder in the village of Derafshan, Isfahan.
According to Rokna, the death sentence of a juvenile offender has been upheld by the Supreme Court. The prisoner, whose identity and location were not disclosed, was arrested and sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the “premeditated murder” of one of his friends, Morteza Rezaii in the village of Derafshan (part of the Pirbakran district of Falavarjan county in Isfahan Province).
The murder took place on 6 November 2018 and according to Rokna, when the defendant had not reached the legal age. The juvenile offender is reported to have confessed during interrogations and cited his motives as personal animosity and jealousy.
The juvenile offender was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the murder which has now been upheld by the Supreme Court. According to victim’s mother, the sentence is due to be carried out in early spring.
Iran is one of the few countries in the world that still carries out the death penalty for juvenile offenders. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which the Islamic Republic is a signatory to, prohibits the issuance and implementation of the death penalty for crimes committed by an individual below 18 years of age.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Islamic Republic is also a signatory to, explicitly states that “Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.”
Yet, according to data collected by IHR and international human rights organisations, the Islamic Republic is responsible for more than 70% of all executions of juvenile offenders in the last 30 years. IHR’s statistics also show that at least 63 juvenile offenders have been executed in Iran over the past 10 years, with at least six being executed in 2018 and four in 2019.
Given the security state and repression of civil society activists and the limited contact with prisoners, it is likely that the number of juvenile executions is much higher than recorded.