GENEVA (24 November 2021) – We condemn the execution today in Iran of Arman Abdolali, who was below the age of 18 at the time of his alleged crime.
It is deeply alarming and shocking that his hanging went ahead, despite interventions by numerous parties on the case, including direct engagement by the UN Human Rights Office with the Government of Iran.
The execution of child offenders is categorically prohibited under international human rights law, and we remind Iran that it is obliged to abide by this prohibition.
We also deplore that over the last two months Abdolali had been transferred to solitary confinement six times ahead of his scheduled execution, postponed on each occasion before going ahead on 24 November.
Abdolali, who was 17 at the time he was accused of murder, was arrested in 2014 and found guilty in 2015. We have serious concerns that his case follows the pattern of child offenders being convicted after a flawed trial and on the basis of forced confessions.
Abdolali, who was retried in 2020 and then sentenced to death again in September this year, had also recanted his confession, saying it had been extracted under torture.
More than 85 people remain on death row in Iran for crimes they allegedly committed as children. Abdolali is the second juvenile offender to be executed in Iran so far this year.
We call on the Iranian authorities to halt all executions of child offenders and immediately commute the death sentences against them, in line with the country’s international obligations.
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