MEFD calls on Iran to halt execution of juvenile offender


Salar-ShadizadehLondon, MEFD – Middle East Forum for Development (MEFD) calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the execution of Salar Shadizadeh, who is scheduled to be executed tomorrow for a crime allegedly committed when he was 15 years old. Salar Shadizadeh, who is now 24 years of age, was detained by the authorities in February 2007 when his friend’s dead body was found in a garden of Shadizadeh’s family. The authorities then arrested Salar Shadizadeh and accused him of stabbing his friend in the neck which resulted in his death. The Iranian authorities issued the death penalty for Shadizadeh even though the circumstances of the alleged crime remain mainly unknown. Iran is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), of which Article 37 clearly states that capital punishment shall not be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age, and yet 72 juvenile offenders are believed to have been executed between 2005 and 2014 and at least 160 juvenile offenders are awaiting their execution on death row. “While executions are on an unprecedented increase in Iran and juvenile offenders, like Salar Shadizadeh, are scheduled for execution, it is extremely disappointing and offensive to witness western officials visit Tehran to discuss trade instead of denouncing serious human rights abuses” said Mosa Zahed, executive director at Middle East Forum for Development. Middle East Forum for Development urges the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the execution of Salar Shadizadeh and other persons on death row who are sentenced to death for offences alleged to have been committed when they were below eighteen years of age.

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