Amnesty: Iran still a leading executioner of children

The New York Times reports: Iran is one of the leading executioners of juvenile offenders, despite its improved legal protections for children and a pledge more than two decades ago to end the death penalty for convicts younger than 18, Amnesty International said Monday.

In a new report, Amnesty International said that it had documented the execution of at least 73 juveniles in Iran from 2005 to 2015 and that 160 juvenile offenders are languishing on the country’s death row.

The report casts doubt on laws meant to improve children’s rights in Iran in the past few years, including new discretion by judges to impose alternative punishments on juveniles convicted of capital crimes. In reality, the report said, these changes are attempts by the authorities to “whitewash their continuing violations of children’s rights and deflect criticism of their appalling record as one of the world’s last executioners of juvenile offenders.”

Amnesty International, a leading global advocate for abolition of the death penalty, had also recorded the execution of juveniles in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and there are juveniles on death row in the Maldives and Nigeria.

There is little doubt among rights groups that Iran has executed more people convicted of capital crimes committed as minors than any other country. [Continue reading…]

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