Two juvenile offenders, Mohammad Kalhori and Shayan Saeedpour, are at risk of imminent death in Iran, they are expected to be executed soon.
Mohammad Kalhori was sentenced to death at the age of just 15 even though a medical expert deemed him mentally unstable at the time of his offence. He ruled that Kalhori was suffering from depression at the time that he murdered his teacher in 2014.
Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, and Renate Winter, who heads the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, wrote: “Iran has committed itself to prohibiting the use of the death penalty for all those under 18 by its ratification of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As such, this execution is unlawful and arbitrary.”
Another Juvenile offender Shayan Saeedpour, who was sentenced to death, has been transferred to a different prison in Kurdistan Province and the fear is that he will soon be executed as well. Saeedpour was convicted at the age of 15.
Since being in prison, he has been under psychiatric care for multiple suicide attempts.
At the time of the murder, Saeedpour was under the influence of alcohol, for which he was additionally sentenced to 80 lashes, according to his family. He turned himself in to police two days later.
Iran is one of a small number of countries that continues to execute juvenile offenders. It is illegal to execute someone for crimes committed under the age of eighteen, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention on the Rights of the Child, both treaties that Iran is party to, but the Regime has shown no sign of stopping.
In February 2018, the UN human rights chief called on Iran to halt executions of juveniles. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said: “The execution of juvenile offenders is unequivocally prohibited under international law, regardless of the circumstances and nature of the crime committed.”
There are believed to be at least 80 juvenile offenders on death row.