Juvenile death penalty, maladministration of justice, and denial of fundamental freedoms top list of serious concerns in Iran, UN expert
The United Nations the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed (pictured), has raised continuing concerns about the extremely high rate of executions, especially for juvenile offenders, and fundamental flaws in the administration of justice. Iran executed at least 966 prisoners in 2015, the highest such rate in over two decades.
“With at least 16 juvenile offenders reportedly hanged between 2014-15, Iran remains one of only a few countries still resorting to this practice despite a strict prohibition against it under international law,” Mr. Shaheed said, presenting his latest report* to the UN Human Rights Council.
“I urge Iranian officials to put aside efforts at piecemeal reform in this area and ensure, once and for all, that no boy or girl who commits a crime under the age of 18 is ever put to death,” he stated.
Mr. Shaheed also highlighted fundamental flaws in the administration of criminal justice, ranging from laws that expressly violate Iran’s legal obligations to the failure of security, intelligence and judiciary officials to faithfully and properly implement provisions of Iranian law that comply with international law.
While acknowledging positive steps towards real legal reform, he also noted reports that individuals accused of national security and drug crimes are often deprived of the most basic due process and fair trial rights, including proper access to lawyers, long periods of incommunicado detention, torture and ill-treatment and forced confessions used in court to secure convictions.