Stop Child Executions organization just received news that executions of minors in Iran may be a thing of the past.
The Council of Guardians have approved changing Iran's penal code whereby juvenile offenders who have committed an offence before the age of 18 will not face the death penalty. SCE is also happy to hear that death by stoning has allegedly been scrapped as well by the Council of Guardians.
Stop Child Executions President and Co Founder Nazanin Afshin-Jam says she is "esctatic, if indeed the regime stands committed to these new reforms". She says that a few years ago the Iranian judiciary had written a directive that had instructed judges not to sentence minors to death but they had continued to do so. She says even though Iran has been signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, they continued to violate International human rights law.
Much of the work that Stop Child Executions documented can be found in the report co-authored by Afshin-Jam and Tahirih Danesh in "From Craddle to Coffin: A Report on Child Executions in Iran". http://fpc.org.uk/publications/ChildExecutions
This report which was quoted by the United Nation in Iran’s Universal Periodic Review highlighted the problem of children on death row in Iran and made a number of key recommendations for action to the Iranian Authorities, the international community and to activists.
"With the Council of Guardians having now approved, this could mean a permanent ban to child executions. If this is the case, this will be an incredible accomplishment by human rights activists worldwide” said Afshin-Jam. “I am grateful to Mohammad Mostafaei, Nasrine Sotoudeh, Abdolsamad Khoramshahi and Emadeddine Baghi for their relentless work in Iran for these children. I would like to extend special thanks to all the committed volunteers at Stop Child Executions over the years in particular David Etebari, DW Duke, Kristian Hvesser, Aubrey Harris and Donna Greene and Mina Ahadi. A shout out to the amazing organization Amnesty International in particular Drewery Dyke at its headquarters”.
Millions of people were involved in signing petitions, speaking out, attending rallies and pressuring Iran behind the scenes at the diplomatic level to see this day arrive. While much progress needs to still be made in the area of human rights, SCE commends the government and judiciary in Iran for this bit of progress and hopes they will carry out what they have promised. Stop Child Executions will be monitoring closely the activities of
the regime and be sure to report back