Brussels, 26 January 2009
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU concerning execution of juvenile Molla Gol Hassan and mass execution in Iran
The European Union strongly condemns the execution of Molla Gol Hassan, an Afghan citizen sentenced for a crime he is accused of committing when he was 17 years old. He was executed on 21 January 2009 in Evin Prison, Teheran. Furthermore the European Union strongly condemns the execution of 21 persons in Iran on 20/21 January: ten in Teheran, nine in Yazd province, and two in Isfahan. The EU continues to call on the Iranian authorities to abolish the death penalty completely and, in the meantime, to establish a moratorium on executions as urged by United Nations
There can be absolutely no justification for the use of the death penalty by the Iranian authorities in the case of juvenile offenders, which explicitly runs counter to the legally binding provisions of international law. The European Union condemns the fact that Iran executed at least nine juvenile offenders in 2008, and urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately halt the use of the death penalty in the case of juvenile offenders.
The EU further calls upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to bring its domestic legislation and practice into line with the international human rights conventions, which Iran has freely entered into and ratified, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These two international human rights mechanisms clearly prohibit the execution of minors or people who have been convicted of crimes committed when they were minors.