/ IHRights#Iran: Hossein Amaninejad and Hamed Yavari were executed in Hamedan Central Prison on 11 June. Hossein was arrested… https://t.co/3lnMTwFH6z13 Jun

Child Offender Aref Rasouli and 5 Men at Risk of Execution in Shiraz

31 May
Child Offender Aref Rasouli and 5 Men at Risk of Execution in Shiraz

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); May 31, 2024: Six men including a child offender named Aref Rasouli who is said to have been 17 at the time of his alleged offence, have been transferred to the pre-execution solitary cells of Shiraz Central Prison. They are scheduled to be executed in the coming days.

Iran Human Rights calls on the international community and all countries with diplomatic relations with Iran, to use all available channels to stop these executions, Aref Rasouli’s in particular.

IHRNGO Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “The international community’s reaction can prevent the execution of Aref Rasouli and the other death row prisoners. Executing child offenders is a flagrant breach of international law and the Islamic Republic’s treaty obligations. The international community shouldn’t allow child offender executions to continue.”

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, six men have been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for the executions in Shiraz Central Prison. Five of the men were transferred on 30 May 2024 and one was transferred eight days ago after celebrating Ebrahim Raisi’s death. One of the men is reported to be a child offender named Aref Rasouli who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.

An informed source told IHRNGO: “Aref Rasouli was born on 25 April 2004 and 17 years old at the time of the alleged offence.” IHRNGO has not seen the document evidence of Aref Rasouli’s age at the time writing but continues efforts to independently verify his age.

As well as Aref, five other men have been transferred to solitary confinement. Three of the men were also sentenced to qisas for murder and two are on death row for drug-related charges.

One of the men has been identified as Morteza Shirmohammadi who was arrested for murder two years ago. He was transferred to solitary confinement after handing out cakes and ice cream in celebration of Ebrahim Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash. It appears that his execution was brought forward as a result of this.

Iran is one of the few countries in the world that still carries out the death penalty for juvenile offenders. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which the Islamic Republic is a signatory to, prohibits the issuance and implementation of the death penalty for crimes committed by an individual below 18 years of age. 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Islamic Republic is also a signatory to, explicitly states that “Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.” However, the new Islamic Penal Code adopted in 2013 explicitly defines the “age of criminal responsibility” for children as the age of maturity under Sharia law, meaning that girls over 9 lunar years of age and boys over 15 lunar years of age are eligible for execution if convicted of “crimes against God” (such as apostasy) or “retribution crimes”(such as murder).