Published: 01 February 2018 Author: Stefan Talmon
On 4 January 2018, Iran hanged 18-year-old Amirhossein Pourjafar, who had been sentenced to death in 2016 for raping and murdering a six-year-old girl from Iran’s marginalised Afghan community. He had also been given 74 lashes for mutilating the corpse of the victim. At the time of the crime, he was 16 years old.
On 8 January 2018, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office issued the following statement:
“I was appalled to hear of the execution of the young Iranian Amirhossein Pourjafar. Amirhossein Pourjafar was only 16 years old at the time of the crimes he is accused of having committed. His death sentence was upheld in appeal proceedings. Amirhossein Pourjafar committed a serious crime, and I express my profound sympathy to the victim’s family.
Nonetheless, the Federal Government is opposed to the death penalty whatever the circumstances. Iran has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit the execution of individuals who were minors at the time of the offence. At least four people who were minors at the time of the crime were executed in Iran in 2017, and many more are on death row. These executions must stop!
I therefore urgently appeal to all those responsible in Iran to immediately suspend all death penalties and completely stop handing down such sentences to minors.”