Amnesty International is outraged by reports that the Iranian authorities have executed a young man convicted of murder who was only 15 years old at the time of the crime.
The organization learned that 22-year-old Ali Kazemi was hung earlier on Tuesday in prison in Busher province. His execution was scheduled and carried out without any notice given to Ali Kazemi’s lawyer as required by Iranian law.
“By carrying out this unlawful execution, Iran is effectively declaring that it wishes to maintain the country’s shameful status as one of the world’s leading executers of those who were children at the time of their crime,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.
“This is nothing short of an all-out assault on children’s rights, as enshrined in international law, which absolutely bans the use of the death penalty against someone who was under 18 years of age at the time of the crime.”
“It is long overdue for the head of Iran’s judiciary to intervene and establish an official moratorium on executions of juvenile offenders.
Ali Kazemi was convicted of murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man during a fight in March 2011. He was only 15 years old at the time the crime was committed.
Amnesty International understands that prison officials and prosecution authorities in Busher tormented Ali Kazemi’s family by making contradictory statements as to whether and when the execution would be carried out.
On 29 January, his family was told Ali Kazemi’s execution had been scheduled for the next day and that they should go to Busher prison in the evening for a last visit.
However, that same evening the family was told Kazemi’s execution had been halted. On the morning of 30 January, the authorities called to reassure the family that the execution had not taken place. However, at midday of Tuesday, Ali Kazemi’s family was suddenly told the execution had just been carried out.
Ali Kazemi’s execution comes less than a month after Iran executed another man who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime, Amirhossein Pourjafar, on 4 January.