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Juvenile Offender's Execution Outrages UN

Iran violated international law, human rights office says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2021 3:20 PM CST

(Newser) – A United Nations agency has condemned Iran's execution of a man who was 16 when he was charged with crime. Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee, 30, was put to death Thursday, the BBC reports. Amnesty International said he was forced to confess to stabbing a man in 2007. Rezaiee was convicted in what the organization called a "grossly unfair trial" that relied on confessions obtained under torture. He spent 12 years on death row. "Imposing the death penalty on someone who was a child at the time of the crime is a serious violation of international human rights law," Amnesty had said in a statement, "which absolutely prohibits the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by children."

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Michelle Bachelet, the UN commissioner for human rights, "strongly condemns" the execution, a spokeswoman said, per the Times of Israel. "There are deeply troubling allegations that forced confessions extracted through torture were used in the conviction of Mr. Rezaiee,” she said, adding that there were also “numerous other serious concerns about violations of his fair-trial rights." The office said that Rezaiee was the fourth juvenile offender put to death by Iran in 2020, and that at least 80 more are on death row. Bachelet called on Iran "to halt all executions of child offenders and immediately review their cases in line with international human rights law." (Read more capital punishment stories.)

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