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Iran: Rights Group Condemns Tehran For Juveniles On Death Row


http://gdb.rferl.org/732d21a6-2932-48b0-8b29-6af4b215117f_w203.jpg ) --> http://gdb.rferl.org/732d21a6-2932-48b0-8b29-6af4b215117f_mw800_mh600.jpg Iran hanged these two teenagers in 2005 for the "crime" of homosexuality, according to ISNA (epa) Iran has sentenced 177 juvenile offenders to death in the last decade, and 34 of them have been executed for crimes committed before they were 18, according to an international rights group.


The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has just published what it says is the first detailed list of juveniles on death row in that country. The group is calling on Iran to immediately abolish the death penalty for juvenile offenders, saying it was obliged to do so under international conventions on civil and children's rights.


The group, based in New York and Vienna, says 114 juvenile offenders are in prison awaiting execution, while the remaining 29 have been pardoned.


It did not specify what crime each juvenile offender was convicted of, but it says most are on death row for murder, while one, Mosleh Zamani, faces execution for an "illicit relationship with his girlfriend."


The list also includes youths who were 12 and 13 at the time of their offense.


"We believe that this is the most complete and documented list that exists in this regard," Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesman for the group, told Radio Farda. "But since Iran's judiciary is not transparent , we call on [judiciary officials ] to make all these cases public and announce the date of birth of these people, date of arrest, and their crimes. And if there are any mistakes in this list, [the judicary] should demonstrate that these people are not younger than 18."


The group says it based its list on research compiled from "reliiable and official sources" by Iranian human rights defender Emad Baghi. It says many sentences were based on confessions obtained after torture or from defendants with no access to a lawyer.


It also says lack of transparency in Iran's judicial system means some of the 114 on death row may already have been executed.


Iranian judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said Iran has not executed anyone under the age of 18.


Amnesty International has called Iran "the last official executioner of children" and says it leads the world in carrying out such sentences.


Earlier this month, Tehran stayed the execution of two young convicts after the UN high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, appealed on their behalf.


with agency reports

RFE/RL Iran Report


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