Children, Yet Convicted As Adults: Juvenile Executions in Iran
December 10, 2016
They told me to accept responsibility for the murder or they would kill me; even my family was in danger.”
Mohammad Reza Haddadi, a 15-year-old boy from Kazerun, Fars Province, was coerced and tricked into taking the blame for a murder he had not committed. Despite serious questions about failures and irregularities in his interrogation and trial, highlighted in an animation produced by Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF), he was convicted of homicide and sentenced to death in 2004. Now 27 years old, Mohammad Reza has awakened every day of the last eight years to the prospect of the gallows. His sentencing violates both Iranian and international law. He deserves a retrial, which the authorities are refusing to grant. There is still time to save him.
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, ABF launches its Juvenile Offenders project to draw attention to the right to life and due process of children and support ongoing advocacy both inside and outside the country to stop the child executions. The latest UN report on the human rights situation in Iran noted “with great concern” the Iranian government’s continued disrespect for international human rights law with respect to juveniles on the putative basis of “religious teachings and culture.” ABF’s dedicated pages highlight the dire situation of juvenile offenders and the need for Iranian officials to respect their international obligations. As a first step, Iran should stop all executions of juveniles sentenced to death and reform the law so that such executions are clearly prohibited in all circumstances.