March 14, 2019 - Javaid Rehman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, expressed concerns over increasing executions in Iran under the mullahs’ regime. He delivered his remarks when the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva held a session on March 11.
In response, the mullahs’ representative in the UNHRC voiced Tehran’s anger over the role played by the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in exposing the regime’s human rights violations.
“It is very unfortunate that one of the main sources for the Special Rapporteur’s documents is the [PMOI/MEK] who have been recognized by their supporters as the opposition and human rights advocates,” he said. It is worth noting that Iran, under the mullahs’ regime, is the world’s top executioner per capita.
Rehman said rising inflation, difficult working conditions, late or unpaid wages, falling living standards, and increased challenges in accessing adequate work, food, health care, and water was making life harder for many Iranians.
“Today, the people of Iran face a myriad of challenges. Many have voiced their concern through protests, demonstrations, and strikes. People from diverse sections of society - from truck drivers to teachers to factory workers - across the country have protested. It is in this context of increased challenges that concerns are mounting about human rights, including the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and to association in Iran,” he said, calling on the regime to release all those detained for exercising such rights.
The report identified an issue of particular concern: the law that allows girls as young as 9 years old, and boys as young as 15 to be sentenced to death for certain crimes.
As a result, individuals aged below the age of 18 when they allegedly committed certain crimes have been executed in breach of Iran’s international obligations, he said. The Special Rapporteur said that at least six child offenders had been executed last year, and according to information received at least 85 remain on death row.
Rehman also said that “the practice, illustrated in numerous cases reviewed, of waiting until the child offender reaches the age of 18 before execution, repeated postponements, and the inherent vulnerability of the child given his or her age, amounts to a pattern of torture and other ill-treatment”.
He further noted that he was following “in the footsteps of every relevant international human rights mechanism” and “also following debate within the country in this issue” in appealing to the Iranian authorities to abolish the practice of sentencing children to death, and to commute all death sentences issued against children in line with international law.