Published: 20 December 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon
Germany rejects the death penalty under all circumstances and actively campaigns for its worldwide abolition. As part of its campaign for the abolition of the death penalty, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office issued several statements on the execution of the death penalty on minors. On 9 August 2017, the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy took up the case of the 20-year old Iranian Alireza Tajiki who had been convicted of murder and rape and faced imminent execution. She stated:
“The news that the execution of young Iranian Alireza Tajiki could be imminent fills me with great concern.
He was only 15 years old at the time of the crimes of which he stands accused, and there are considerable doubts as to whether his trial was conducted in accordance with the principles of the rule of law.
Should Alireza Tajiki be executed, this would be an unacceptable violation of international law. Iran has ratified not only the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit the execution of individuals who were minors at the time of an offence.
I urgently appeal to the Iranian judicial authorities to refrain from carrying out this planned execution. Alireza Tajiki must be given a fair trial under the rule of law B and without the imposition of the death penalty.
The German Government opposes the death penalty, whatever the circumstances.”