Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Child offenders executed in Iran

Iran continues to sentence child offenders to death, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reported on Tuesday. The article highlights the case of Mohammed Latif, who was just 14 when he was arrested and convicted of murder. Latif says that he was attacked by an older boy with a knife, and the ensuing fight resulted in the boy’s death.

According to the article, “In most countries, minors under 18 convicted of capital crimes face less severe sentences than adults. There is a broad consensus, reflected in the UN's International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), that minors cannot fully grasp the consequences of all their actions – and so, are legally less liable for them than adults.”

Iran has joined the CRC, but Latif’s appeal has been rejected and the death sentence finalized, meaning that the case is now in the hands of the Head of Iran’s judiciary, Mahmud Shahrudi.

The article also notes the case of a 16-year old girl who was hanged in 2005 for having what was called “illegitimate sexual relations.”

According to the article, Amnesty International and other human rights groups believe that there are currently 70 to 80 child offenders facing the death penalty in Iran.

The Islamic Republic is one of just four countries that have executed those who were children at the time of their offense since 2004.

For the full article, click here.


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