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Iran: UN rights experts make urgent plea to halt imminent execution of juvenile Amirhossein Pourjafar

GENEVA (3 January 2018) – UN human rights experts* have made a last-minute appeal to Iran to halt the execution of Amirhossein Pourjafar, who was 16 when he was sentenced to death.

He is due to be executed on Thursday 4 January in direct contravention of international standards on the use of the death penalty.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the execution of this juvenile offender and annul the death sentence against him in compliance with their international obligations,” the experts said in a joint statement.

“International standards unequivocally forbid imposing the death sentence on anyone under 18 years of age.”

The experts stressed their dismay at the ongoing juvenile executions in Iran despite it being strictly prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is party.

Amirhossein Pourjafar was sentenced to death in September 2016 after being convicted of the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl.  The court said he had attained “mental maturity” at the time of the crime and had understood the nature and consequences of his actions.

The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in January 2017. The execution was originally due to take place last October, when the UN experts also made an urgent plea for it to be annulled.

ENDS

* The UN experts: Ms. Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; and Ms. Agnes CallamardSpecial Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page: Iran 

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Katherine Cocco (+41 229179899 / sriran@ohchr.org)

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