(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/05/Crooked-mullahs.jpg)Despite pressure from global community and human rights organizations, a young man, Hamid Ahmadi, is at imminent risk of execution, according to Amnesty international.
A few months ago, a Kurdish Juvenile “offender” was executed for charges such as ”enmity against God” and “corruption on Earth.” Iranian authorities carried out the execution despite international pressure. His family members were asked to collect his body the next day.
In addition, although the increasing number of executions for minor crimes is appalling in itself in the Islamic Republic, the execution of children adds more evidence of the egregious human rights abuses committed by the ruling clerics of the Islamic Republic.
In 2014 alone, 14 executions of people, who were less than 18 years old at the time of their “crime,” were reported to Amnesty International. Possibly many other executions went unreported.
Speaking on Ahmadi’s case, Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, pointed out, “The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, but it is particularly troubling that in this case Iran is again set to violate the clear prohibition in international law of executing those who were children at the time of the alleged crime. If the execution goes ahead while the case is under review at Iran’s highest court, it would also be an appalling miscarriage of justice.” He added, “The Iranian authorities should halt all plans to carry out this execution immediately. They must allow justice to run its course without resorting to the death penalty.”
Even under the new Islamic Penal Code of Iran, which is now in place, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to executes children or those who commit adultery, sodomy, or drink alcohol repeatedly.
The ruling clerics consider the age of puberty as the legal age for considering someone an adult. In addition they consider a lunar year, which is shorter than the solar year at roughly 354 days, as a basis for calculating someone’s age.
According to the Shari’s Penal Code of Iran “A child is a person who has not reached the age of puberty as stipulated in Islamic Shari’a.”
As a result, a girl who is nine years old can be legally executed for committing a crime based on the Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic.
Hypocritically, the Islamic Republic is a signatory member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet the ruling mullahs of the Islamic Republic blatantly continue to violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Iranian leaders point out that the new Islamic Penal Code has abolished child execution. Nevertheless, even under the new Islamic Penal Code the allowance of child execution is clear, according to article 146 and 147 of the Penal Code. Article 146 states that “Non-mature children have no criminal responsibility.” And Article 147 indicates that “The age of maturity for girls and boys are, respectively, a full nine and fifteen lunar years.”
If a juvenile execution case draws international pressure, the mullahs utilize another tactic. They usually keep the child in the prison until he/she is eighteen years old, then the government executes them, arguing the offender is executed as an adult.
Iranian authorities continuously violate the following four crucial articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
© Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child’s best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.
The case to execute Ahmadi is only one example among many. He was forced into giving a “confession,” as many other prisoners have been. And his trial, as many other trials, was unfair, and flawed, with no adequate legal representation. Based on the Iranian Islamic principle of “knowledge of the judge,” the judge subjectively decided to sentence Ahmadi to death. As Boumedouha pointed out, “Instead of sending another young man to the gallows after a flawed judicial process, the Iranian authorities should be launching an independent investigation into the allegation that Hamid Ahmadi was forced to ‘confess’ and incriminate himself.”
According to an annual report on the death penalty in 2014, 1193 people had been executed in the Islamic Republic since President Hassan Rouhani came to power; that means that approximately two executions occur every day.
It is worth noting that we are negotiating and sitting on the same table with those Iranian leaders who are not only notorious for their anti-American and anti-Semitic sentiments, but also well known for egregious human rights violations against children. What kind of message are we sending to many Iranian people who are oppressed under the Ayatollah regime?
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