UN’s top rights chief speaks out against execution of a minor in Iran

Louise Arbour

7 December 2007 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has spoken out against the execution of a minor in Iran, calling on the Tehran Government to respect the international consensus against meting out capital punishment to juvenile offenders.

Louise Arbour expressed her “grave concern” on 6 December over the execution of Makwan Moloudzadeh the previous day in a prison in Iran's Kermanshah Province, according to a statement released by her office.

Makwan Moloudzadeh was convicted of the rape of three boys seven years ago, when he was 13 years old. “It was reported that the execution was carried out, despite his alleged victims withdrawing their accusations, and the Head of the Judiciary issuing an order to stay the execution pending a further judicial review of the sentence,” Ms. Arbour observed.

Iran is a party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child – treaties which place a legal obligation on States parties not to impose the death penalty for those under the age of 18 years at the time of the commission of the crimes.

The High Commissioner called on Iran “to respect its international legal obligations and the strong international consensus against the execution of minors.”

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