Plea to halt execution of juvenile offender in Iran

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The appeal to Iran came from rights experts including the chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, based at Palais Wilson in Geneva. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The imminent execution of a juvenile offender must be halted, UN human rights experts announced on Thursday, amid concerns that torture was used to obtain a confession.

Iran reportedly hanged two other prisoners last month who were minors at the time of their alleged crimes.

Daniel Johnson has more from Geneva.

The appeal by no less than four UN human rights experts is for Hamid Ahmadi, who is scheduled to be hanged on Saturday.

He was 17 when he was sentenced to death in 2009 for the fatal stabbing of a young man during a fight that involved five boys.

According to the UN rights experts – three UN Special Rapporteurs and the head of the Committee on the Rights of the Child – confessions were reportedly obtained by torture at a police station, where Mr Ahmadi was also denied access to a lawyer and his family.

Given this background, his execution would be akin to arbitrary execution, the UN experts said.

In a statement they condemned the current "unprecedented rate" of juvenile executions in Iran and stressed that international law forbids the use of the death penalty on anyone under 18 years of age.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 0’52″

 

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