Amnesty International accused the Iranian government of executing two minors in late April, denying the teens due process and violating international law. The report highlights the killing as only the latest incident of capital punishment against children.
According to the human rights group, Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat were arrested in 2017 at the age of 15. The two were then held for months in a police detention center without access to legal counsel before being convicted of multiple rape charges. Recently, a doctor had determined that the minors had reached the developmental maturity to comprehend the full nature of their supposed crimes. They were subsequently transferred to an adult facility in Adel Abad prison in Shiraz and executed.
The minor’s families were not informed of the executions until after the sentences were carried out, rather they were phoned to collect the remains of the boys. Upon release, the bodies also showed signs of flogging, showing they had been abused before their deaths.
“The Iranian authorities have once again proved that they are sickeningly prepared to put children to death,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director. As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Tehran is required to ensure no minors, defined as anyone under 18, be sentenced to the death penalty or life imprisonment.
“Iran remains the top executioner of children in the world,” according to the Amnesty report. Between 1990 and 2018, the group has executed 97 individuals who were juveniles at the time they committed their crimes. Another 90 currently at risk of execution, such as Mohammad Reza Haddadi who has been on death row since 2003 after being convicted of murder at age 15.