Eurpoean Union presidency asks Iran to halt imminent Execution of Behnoud Shojaee

The Presidency of the European Union is deeply concerned by the news of the imminent execution of Behnoud Shojaee, who was convicted and sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was a minor.

The Presidency notes that this juvenile death sentence is in direct contravention of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s international obligations and commitments, specifically as set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both clearly prohibiting the execution of minors or people who have been convicted of crimes committed when they were minors.

The Presidency urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with International Law and to immediately halt the execution of Mr Shojaee and of all other juvenile offenders on the death row, taking in consideration alternative sentences for juvenile offenders and respect for international norms and standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.

The Presidency avails of this opportunity to reiterate the European Union’s longstanding position against the death penalty in all circumstances, regardless of what crimes have been committed by the individuals concerned. The EU considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhuman punishment and that it is not effective in terms of deterrence.

The Presidency again urges the Iranian authorities to immediately cease all executions and apply a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty, as called for in the United Nations General Assembly resolution on a Moratorium on the use of the death penalty, as adopted in December 2007.