A noose hangs in gallows in Iran. Photo: Iran HRN
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein spotlighted the execution of a boy convicted of murder when he was 14 by Iranian authorities, urging Tehran to not carry out the "imminent" execution of another youth.
"We understand that the execution of at least one more juvenile offender, Mohammad Kalhori, is imminent and urge the authorities not to carry it out, but instead to commute the sentences of all juvenile offenders on death row," stated Zeid on Thursday.
Abolfazi Chezani Sharahi was executed on Wednesday morning at Qom Prison. He was sentenced to death in September 2014 for fatally stabbing a young man during a fight in December 2013 at the age of 14, according to Amnesty International.
“I am deeply disturbed that Iran continues to implement the death penalty against juvenile offenders, with some 85 others reportedly on death row," added Zeid.
The UN noted that executing juvenile offenders is a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights — both of which Iran are party to.
Amnesty has reported that Iranian authorities had argued Sharahi was 14 years, 11 months old at the time of the crime, making him 15 years and 5 months old, according to the Islamic lunar calendar
The Convention on the Rights of the Child absolutely prohibits the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people less than 18 years old.
The UN added that Sharahi was put in isolation four times before being executed "further opening up the possibility that he suffered torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Iran carries out the second-most capital punishment executions in the world, behind China.