Amnesty International urges Iran to halt the execution of a minor

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In a statement released today, January 3, 2018, Amnesty International urged the Iranian authorities to halt the execution of Amirhossein Pourjafar, who was under the age of 18 at the time of arrest. He  is set to be executed on January 4, at dawn.

“The Iranian authorities must urgently halt the execution of 18-year-old Amirhossein Pourjafar, scheduled to take place tomorrow, 4 January 2018, and commute his death sentence to imprisonment, Amnesty International said today. Amirhossein Pourjafar was 16 years old when the murder and rape of which he was convicted took place and international law absolutely prohibits the use of the death penalty against individuals who were under 18 at the time of the crime prosecuted.” The statement reads in part.

Amirhossein Pourjafar was sentenced to two executions in September 2016, by the Branch 7 of Tehran’s Criminal Court No 1, one for murder in accordance with the Islamic principle of “retribution-in-kind” and another for rape. He was also sentenced to 74 lashes for mutilating the corpse. The Supreme Court upheld both death sentences in January 2017.

In 2013, the Iranian regime amended its Islamic Penal Code, offering the possibility of retrials for juveniles sentenced to death. Later, Iran gave assurances in 2016 to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that this amendment would apply systematically for all juveniles who are currently on death row. However, in 2017, Iran repeatedly violated its commitment by hanging of at least four people who were under the age of 18 at the time of their arrests.

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