The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad
Al Hussein, urged Iran on Friday to "abide by international law" and
"immediately halt" the execution of individuals who committed crimes
when they were under 18 years of age, according to DW.
"The execution of juvenile offenders is unequivocally prohibited under international law, regardless of the circumstances and nature of the crime committed," Zeid said in a statement.
UN Human Rights spokesman Rupert Coleville also presented the statement to the press in Geneva.
"The execution of juvenile offenders is unequivocally prohibited under international law" - watch @UNHumanRights spox Rupert Colville brief the press in Geneva today on #Iran & the surge in the number of juvenile offenders being executed there ?? pic.twitter.com/KZXMyq2n9k
— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) February 16, 2018
Iran is a signatory to two international treaties — the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child — that prohibit capital punishment for offenses committed by minors.
Zeid pointed to a "surge" in the number of executions of juveniles in Iran. In January, three people — one woman and two men — were put to death for crimes they had committed when they were 15 or 16.
Mahboubeh Mofidi, 20, was executed for allegedly killing her husband when she was 16, after having married at the age of 13. The two men put to death were 18-year-old Amir Hussein Pourjafar for alleged rape and murder when he was 16, and 22-year-old Ali Kazemi, who allegedly committed murder at age 15.
Some 80 individuals are thought to be on death row in Iran for crimes they committed as minors. Zeid expressed particular concern about three pending executions that had been postponed various times, in one case due to a promised payment of "diyah," or blood money, from the convict's family to the family of the alleged victim.