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The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed dismay over the reported execution of a juvenile offender in Iran.

Reports say Ali Naderi, 21, was executed earlier this month after being found guilty of a murder he committed when he was 17.

An OHCHR statement said the death penalty cannot be legally imposed for crimes committed by people under 18.

It cited the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, saying Iran is a party to both agreements.

Naderi's was the first reported juvenile execution since September 2011.

The OHCHR called on Iran to restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offenses for which it may be imposed.
A gay rights activist stands in front of the State Duma after being punched during a protest in Moscow on January 22.
Supporters of a controversial Russian bill banning "homosexual propaganda" have clashed with gay activists outside Russia's parliament.

A dozen gay rights activists had gathered in Moscow to protest the bill by kissing each other.

A group of young men attacked the activists, taking away and tearing up their posters and shouting obscenities at them.

Unknown assailants attack a gay rights activist.
Unknown assailants attack a gay rights activist.
The State Duma is to consider a federal bill that makes the dissemination of information about Russia's gay community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000.

Several Russian cities including St. Petersburg already have adopted such laws.

Lawmakers, government officials, and Russia's Orthodox Church have supported the bill, saying homosexuality clashes with traditional Russian values.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia 20 years ago but homophobia remains strong in Russian society.

Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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