A teenager named Hassan Afshar has been executed in Iran on charges of committing rape of another boy in early 2015. It also marks the first juvenile execution of the year for Iran. He was hung in Arak’s Prison in Markazi Province on 18 July. Although the Office of the Head of the Judiciary promised the family of the accused that a review of the case would occur on 15 September 2016, the execution still went ahead.
Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director, Magdalena Mughrabi over the execution said, “Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds. Hassan Afshar was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested. He had no access to a lawyer and the judiciary rushed through the investigation and prosecution, convicting and sentencing him to death within two months of his arrest as though they could not execute him quickly enough.”
As per Mughrabi, Afshar was not informed about his execution during the seven months he was in a juvenile detention facility. Iran had also planned to execute another alleged offender Alireza Tajiki but refrained due to public pressure. Tajiki was only 18 when he was arrested. Iran has over 180 convicted offenders subject to execution, who were arrested when they were under 18 years of age.
Mughrabi over the unjust system in Iran said, “Any one of these youths could be next in line for execution. The torment that Iran’s flawed juvenile justice system has inflicted on them will not end until the Iranian authorities commute their death sentences and amend Iran’s Penal Code to abolish the use of death penalty for all crimes committed under 18 years of age, as immediate first steps towards full abolition of this punishment.”