LONDON: The UN’s Human Rights Office has decried Iran’s “shocking” execution of a man who was under the age of 18 when he is alleged to have committed his crime.
Arman Abdolali was hung on Wednesday, roughly seven years since he was arrested and accused of murdering someone in 2014 at the age of 17.
Human Rights Office spokeswoman Liz Throssell said in a statement: “It is deeply alarming and shocking that his hanging went ahead, despite interventions by numerous parties on the case, including direct engagement by the UN Human Rights Office with the Government of Iran.”
The execution of child offenders is prohibited under international human rights law. “We remind Iran that it is obliged to abide by this prohibition,” said Throssell, who highlighted the mistreatment of Abdolali in the lead-up to his execution.
“We also deplore that over the last two months Abdolali had been transferred to solitary confinement six times ahead of his scheduled execution, postponed on each occasion before going ahead on 24 November.”
Throssell also threw into question the validity of the legal process that led to his death sentence.
“We have serious concerns that his case follows the pattern of child offenders being convicted after a flawed trial and on the basis of forced confessions,” she said.
“Abdolali, who was retried in 2020 and then sentenced to death again in September this year, had also recanted his confession, saying it had been extracted under torture.”
More than 85 people remain on death row in Iran for crimes they allegedly committed as children. Abdolali is the second juvenile offender to be executed in Iran so far this year.
Throssell said: “We call on the Iranian authorities to halt all executions of child offenders and immediately commute the death sentences against them, in line with the country’s international obligations.”
The EU has also condemned Abdolali’s execution.