UN human rights chief asks Iran to stay execution of four juvenile offenders

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

10 June 2008 – The top United Nations human rights official has asked Iran not to execute four people sentenced to death for crimes they committed when they were under the age of 18, reminding the country of its obligations under international law.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour expressed her concern today over reports that the four men – Behnoud Shojaaee, Mohammad Fadaaee, Saeed Jazee and Behnam Zaare – are at imminent risk of execution.

Ms. Arbour “acknowledged the steps taken by the Iranian authorities to subject these cases to closer judicial scrutiny, and to encourage settlements between perpetrators and victims’ families,” according to a news release issued by her office.

“But she reminded the Iranian authorities of the absolute prohibition on the application of the death penalty for juvenile offenders under international law,” it added.

Iran is a party both to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of 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.

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