Tag Archives: United Nations

Iran, Yemen and Sudan LIE about child executions

Sixty-third General Assembly
Third Committee
28th & 29th Meetings

Statements made by country officials at the 63rd General Assembly Third Committee

In 2007, New Zealand had co-sponsored the General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium, which represented a significant milestone in the quest for its eventual abolition. Five countries (Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan)  continued to execute juvenile offenders and had carried out 32 such executions in the past three years. She urged those States to take immediate steps to prohibit that practice by law and, while such efforts were ongoing, to adopt a moratorium on all executions of juvenile offenders.

LIE #1: Yemen denies implementing the death penalty for minors

YEMEN: In a dialogue session following the introduction of the reports, the representative of Yemen said his delegation was particularly surprised by the information included in paragraph 43 of the report of the Secretary-General on the moratorium on the death penalty (A/63/293), which stated that Yemen was one of five countries who continued to implement the death penalty against persons under 18 years of age. That claim was “totally groundless” and had been based on information from a non-governmental organization and not from State figures. The Secretary-General’s report on the issue should be based on State information and not on information from other groups or countries. Yemen had amended its crime and punishment law in 1994, and, currently, the maximum penalty against persons under 18 years of age in the country was imprisonment for a duration of 10 years. He called on the Secretariat to clarify the situation officially and asked for such misinformation to be avoided in the future.

STOP CHILD EXECUTIONS RESPONSE: If Yemen amended its crime and punishment law in 1994 where the maximum penalty for persons under 18 years of age is 10 year imprisonment, why then was Hafez Ibrahim sentenced to death for a crime allegdedly committed when he wa 16 years old. Why did did Ibrahim’s family have to pay 25 million Yemeni riyals (approximately USD$126,217) to the family of the victim as a compensation amount to pardon him for exchane of his lifein October 2007? What about Walid Haikal who has been facing execution in Yemen for over 7 years from the time he was 15 years old. Why was Walid Hussein Haykal sentenced to death at age 16 year old when it is documented in his father’s passport issued in the Yemeni consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he was born?

LIE #2: Iran rejects claim that Iran continues to use the death penalty against juveniles.

IRAN. Flagging the same report, the representative of Iran categorically rejected the claim made in paragraph 43 that Iran continued to use the death penalty against juveniles. Discussion surrounding the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on a moratorium of the death penalty had demonstrated the deep divide among Member States on that issue, and his delegation continued to hold strong reservations regarding the implications of a moratorium, as did many others. Those reservations aside, he said that persons in charge of preparing the report should have ensured that the information included was accurate. In the case of Iran, the information had come from a non-governmental organization and, before allowing those figures to be included in the report, the Secretary-General should have verified those figures with intergovernmental stakeholders or other officials within the country. At the very least, he added, the countries concerned should have been consulted on the information that was going to be included in the report.

Introduction of Draft Resolutions

SEYED HOSSEIN REZVANI ( Iran) said strengthening cooperation in the field of human rights helped promote mutual understanding and good neighbourliness among States. Due to different historical, regional, religious, cultural and national particularities, as well as differences in social systems, levels of development and concepts of value, it was only natural to have different views on human rights. Countries should be allowed to take measures to protect and promote human rights, while taking into account their own national conditions. It was neither practical nor feasible to demand that all countries adopt the same development model. The international community should, on the basis of mutual respect and through dialogue, deepen their mutual understanding and cooperate more to promote human rights. Cultural diversity should not be a cause for division within the international community, but should be viewed as an asset that enriched the common heritage of all peoples. In light of that, advancing a “policy of cultural hegemony” should be avoided. The practice of listening to others, rather than confronting or offending them, should be cultivated among those participating in international politics.

STOP CHILD EXECUTIONS RESPONSE: Iran continues to violate international human rights law. It has executed 6 children this year alone, and over 140 minors remain on death row awaiting execution.

LIE #3: Iran ensures compliance with international commitments
Also in reply to the statement made by France’s delegation, the representative of Iran said his delegation categorically rejected the allegations made regarding the execution of minors in his country. As a party to a number of major human rights instruments, Iran had ensured compliance with its international commitments, particularly with regard to restricting the application of the death penalty to the perpetrators of only the most heinous crimes. In addition, there had been no cases of death sentences carried out by stoning in his country in recent years, since a moratorium was in place to prevent such actions. The degree of freedom of expression in the country was evident in the publication of more than 300 news dailies, as well as other forms of media, which were all free to discuss and debate a wide range of political issues in the country.

Iran has signed the ICCPR International Covenent on Civil and Political Rights and the Charter of the Rights of the Child which prohibits the execution of those who have comitted an offence before the age of 18 years. Iran continues to violate these treaties.

Name Age Date of Execution
Kazem Shirafkan
Three young males

Ebrahim Qorbanzadeh
Jasem Abrahimi
Mehrdad Yousefi
Mohammad Zadeh
Atefeh Rajabi
Iman Farokhi
Ali Safarpour Rajabi
Mahmoud A.
A. M.
Farshid Farighi
Name unknown
Name unknown
Rostam Tajik
Majid Segound
Morteza M
Naser Batmani
Mohammad Mousavi
Saeed Kamberzai
Hossein Gharabaghloo
Babak Rahimi
Two Afghani boys
Mohammadreza Tork
Makwan Moloudzadeh
Javad Shojaei

17 at time of execution
One aged 16, two aged
17 at time of execution
17 at time of execution
17 at time of execution
16 at time of offence
17 at time of offence
17 at time of offence
16 at time of execution
17 at time of execution
16 or 17 at time of the offence
15 or 16 at time of the offence
16 or 17 at time of the offence
14 to 16 at time of the offences
17 at time of execution
under 18 at time of the offence
16 at time of the offence
17 at time of execution
17 at time of execution
16 at time of offence
under 18 at time of the offence
16 at time of offence
17 at time of execution
16 at time of offence
17 at time of offence
Under 18 at time of offence
16 at time of offence
13 at time of offence
16 at time of offence

29 September 1992

24 October 1999
14 January 2000
29 May 2001
25 January 2004
12 May 2004
15 August 2004
19 January 2005
13 July 2005
19 July 2005
19 July 2005
1 August 2005
23 August 2005
12 September 2005
10 December 2005
13 May 2006
September 2006
7 November 2006
December 2006
22 April 2007
28 May 2007
17 October 2007
17 October 2007
15 November 2007
5 December 2007
February 2008

Lie #4: Sudan denies no penalties were applied to minors in he country, neither the death penalty nor any other.

SUDAN. Sudan’s delegate, referring to the same report, said the Secretary-General had exceeded his mandate by including information from non-State actors. The moratorium on the death penalty was a controversial issue that had not achieved consensus. Member States had given the Secretary-General a mandate to publish a report on the implementation of the moratorium, but it did not include permission to base his reports on information culled from non-governmental organizations or civil society. Regarding the Sudan’s inclusion in paragraph 43, he said that the information was incorrect and no penalties were applied to minors in the country, neither the death penalty nor any other. He asked Mr. Mbaidjol, who had provided the Secretary-General that information, why such groundless and inaccurate information was included in an official report. He also asked to be provided with the names of the minors that were alleged to have been executed in his country.

Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed and Ahmed Abdullah Suleiman, both aged 16, were sentenced to death by the Criminal Court in Nyala the capital of South Darfur on 3 May 2007

For a Full look at the UN’s 63rd General Assembly Third Committee Report:

UN urged to end executions of juvenile offenders

Groups from 82 Countries Seek Urgent Reforms for Children

(New York, October 14, 2008) – As UN member states begin three days of debate on the rights of the child, more than 300 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from 82 countries called on the UN General Assembly to take urgent action to end executions for crimes committed by children, Human Rights Watch said today.

The vast majority of states enforce the absolute prohibition on the death penalty for individuals who committed crimes as children, in compliance with international law. But the overall number of such executions has been rising. Five countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan and Yemen – have carried out 32 of these executions since January 2005, and have well over 100 other juvenile offenders on death row.

“Groups from all over the world are saying that these executions are an outrage,” said Clarisa Bencomo, researcher on children’s rights for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch. “The General Assembly should demand that countries stop these killings immediately and pass reforms so that no one is ever again executed for a crime committed as a child.”

Iran has been at the forefront of the recent rise in executions of juvenile offenders. Between 2000 and 2004, five states are known to have executed 18 juvenile offenders, with the nine executions in the United States and five in Iran accounting for the majority. The United States ended the juvenile death penalty in March 2005, but since January 2005, Iran has been responsible for 26 of the 32 executions of juvenile offenders worldwide. NGOs in all five countries that currently execute juvenile offenders are among those seeking General Assembly action, and the Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi endorsed their statement.

On October 15, 2008, the UN General Assembly will begin its annual debate on the rights of the child. Past General Assembly resolutions have included a broad call for states to comply with their international treaty obligations to end the juvenile death penalty, but with language so general that even states that execute juvenile offenders supported the measures.

The NGO petition is co-sponsored by the Children’s Rights Information Network and Human Rights Watch. The petition urges UN member states to recognize the urgency of the current situation by calling for an immediate moratorium on all executions of juvenile offenders and commutation of existing death sentences to custodial or other sentences in conformity with international juvenile justice standards. States that prohibit the death penalty for juvenile offenders should ensure that essential safeguards are in place so that children are not mistakenly sentenced to death. These safeguards should include legal assistance, universal birth registration and training for judges and prosecutors in juvenile justice.

The petition also calls on the General Assembly to request a report from the UN secretary-general on all states’ compliance with the absolute ban on the juvenile death penalty, including information on the number of juvenile offenders currently on death row and the number executed during the last five years. Such a study would be an important tool in identifying good practices that states can use in implementing the absolute prohibition on these executions and to set benchmarks for moving toward full compliance.

“The General Assembly should adopt strong, detailed recommendations on the steps states should take to implement the prohibition on the juvenile death penalty, and then follow up to monitor states’ actions,” Bencomo said. “It is unconscionable that, in some countries, children are facing execution because they lacked birth certificates or didn’t have lawyers during investigation and trial.”

The text of the petition and a list of the 305 groups that have signed it are available in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Human Rights Watch Press release

[To learn more about this topic, read the HREA Study Guide on Children and youth.]

درخواست سازمان ملل برای توقف اعدام نوجوانان در ایران

محمد مصطفایی

موضوع اعدام اطفال زير ۱۸ سال كه ايران رتبه نخست را در سطح جهان در ميان دو يا سه كشور اجرا كننده اعدام، كسب كرده است امروزه با تلاش و كوشش فعالين حقوق بشر حساسيت وي‍ژه اي را ايجاد كرده است در حالي كه قضات كشورمان برخلاف قانون مبادرت به انشاء راي در مورد قصاص يا اعدام اطفال زير ۱۸ سال مي نمايد ولي هيچگاه نخواسته اند اشتباه خود را با توقف اعدامها جبران كنند و همچنان بر اعدام نوجوانان پافشاري مي كنند تا جاييكه کميساريای عالی سازمان ملل در امور حقوق بشر روز سه شنبه از افزايش ميزان اعدام ها در ايران ابراز نگرانی کرد و از جمهوری اسلامی خواست تا احکام صادره اعدام برای کسانی که در سنين نوجوانی مرتکب جرم شده اند را متوقف کند. اين کميساريا از محمد فدايی و امير امراللهی به عنوان دو نفری نام برده است که به اتهام قتل در معرض خطر اعدام قرار دارند و افزود: صدور حکم اعدام مغاير با قوانين بين المللی در باره افرادی است که در سنين نوجوانی مرتکب جرم شده اند و تهران نيز آنها را تصويب کرده است. روپرت کاليول، سخنگوی کميساريای عالی سازمان ملل در امور حقوق بشر، در يک نشست خبری گفت: «ما از دولت ايران می خواهيم که اعدام محمد فدايی و امير امراللهی را به دليل مغايرت آن با موازين بين المللی لغو کرده و از صدور احکام جديد اعدام برای نوجوانان در آينده خودداری کند.» اين کميساريا همچنين از افزايش تعداد اعدام ها در ايران طی ماه های اخير ابراز نگرانی کرده است. آقای کالويل می گويد: ايران از ابتدای سال جاری ميلادی تا کنون بيش از ۲۲۰ نفر را اعدام کرده است و در ميان آنها، نام شش نفر از افرادی که در نوجوانی مرتکب قتل شده اند وجود دارد.

وقتی که آمار اعدامها را در کشورمان بررسی می کنیم این سئوال به ذهن خطور می کند که چرا می بایست ایران در رتبه دوم اعدام و رتبه اول اعدام اطفال زیر ۱۸ سال قرار

گیرد؟این موضوع بسیار نگران کننده می باشد. کميساريای عالی سازمان ملل در امور حقوق بشر همچنين از اعدام اخير بهنام زارع و رضا حجازی، دو جوان ايرانی که به جرم ارتکاب قتل در زير هجده سالگی، در ايران به دار آويخته شدند، ابراز نگرانی کرده است. بهنام زارع، روز سه شنبه، پنجم شهريور ماه، بدون حضور اینجانب به عنوان وکیل وی و خانواده اش به دار آويخته شد. اعدام بهنام زارع يک روز پس از انتشار اطلاعيه اتحاديه اروپا در محکوم کردن اعدام رضا حجازی، صورت گرفت. اعدام رضا حجازی نیز ساعاتی پس از آن اتفاق افتاد که به وکيل او اعلام شد اجرای حکم به تعويق افتاده است. طبق ماده ۳۷ کنوانسيون حقوق کودک و بند ششم ماده پنج ميثاق بين المللی حقوق مدنی و سياسی، که به تصويب ايران نيز رسيده است، اعدام افرادی که در زمان ارتکاب جرم سن شان زير ۱۸ سال باشد، ممنوع است. ايران در سال ۱۳۷۲ کنوانسيون حقوق کودک را پذيرفته و در سال ۱۳۵۴ به ميثاق بين المللی حقوق مدنی و سياسی پيوسته است. در هر دو سند بين المللی به صراحت، دولت ها از اعمال مجازات مرگ برای اطفالی که در زمان ارتکاب جرم سن آنها کمتر از ۱۸ سال بوده، منع شده اند. منع اين مجازات غير قابل برگشت به زندگی، در ماده ۳۷ کنوانسيون حقوق کودک به تصويب مجلس شورای اسلامی رسيده و شورای نگهبان در نظريه خود هيچ گونه ايراد شرعی بر اين ماده قانونی وارد نياورده است.

به هرحال اعمال مجازات مرگ به طريق به دار آيختن براي نوجواناني كه هم اكنون در زندان بوده و روز و شب در كابوس مرگ به سر مي برند ادامه دارد. اگر واقعا اعدام اين نوجوانان عملي نكو و شايسته بود اعتراضات سازمانها و نهادهاي بين المللي و حتي انجمن هاي حقوق بشري داخل كشور را بر نمي انگيخت و مردم با نوشتن نامه از رياست قوه قضاييه نمي خواستند كه اعدام نوجوانان را متوقف كند.

اي كاش مرداني از  سياسيون قدم پيش مي نهاند و همچنان كه اصرار به تصويب لايحه كذايي حمايت از خانواده مطرح گرديد كه نيازي به تصويب مقررات آن در شرايط كنوني نبوده و نيست داد اين نوجوانان را به گوش نمايندگان مجلس مي رسانند. به گوش مسئولين قوه قضاييه مي رسانند تا شايد به خود آيند و ترتيبي اتخاذ كنند كه اين نونهالان شب و روز زجر نكشند. باور كنيد اين عادلانه نيست كه نوجواني را كه به اشتباه و از روي بچگي مرتكب جرم شده است را اينگونه عذابش دهيم.

Arab charter approved child executions

UN News Service:

The Arab Charter on Human Rights contains provisions that do not meet international norms and standards, including the application of the death penalty for children, the treatment of women and non-citizens and the equating of Zionism with racism, the United Nations human rights chief said today.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour issued a statement saying that her office “does not endorse these inconsistencies [and] we continue to work with all stakeholders in the region to ensure the implementation of universal human rights norms.”

The Arab Charter entered into force earlier this month after seven countries ratified the text, prompting Ms. Arbour to release a statement last Thursday in which she noted that while human rights are universal, “regional systems of promotion and protection can further help strengthen the enjoyment of human rights.”

Ms. Arbour said today that throughout the development of the Charter, her office shared concerns with the drafters about the incompatibility of some provisions with international norms and standards.

“These concerns included the approach to death penalty for children and the rights of women and non-citizens. Moreover, to the extent that it equates Zionism with racism, we reiterated that the Arab Charter is not in conformity with General Assembly Resolution 46/86, which rejects that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

سازمان ملل: نقض حقوق بشر را در ایران متوقف کنید

 رادیو فردا
 مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل متحد روز سه شنبه قطعنامه ای را عليه نقض حقوق بشر در ايران شامل «شکنجه، شلاق زدن، قطع عضو، سنگسار و اعدام در ملا عام» تصويب کرد.
در رای گيری از ۱۹۲ عضو اين مجمع، پيش نويسی که از سوی کميته حقوق بشر مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل ارائه شده بود، با ۷۳ رای موافق، ۵۳ رای مخالف و ۵۵ رای ممتنع به تصويب رسید. جمهوری اسلامی ایران همواره به خاطر اعدام های متعدد در ملا عام، سنگسار و شکنجه زندانیان سیاسی مورد اتهام و انتقاد مجامع بین المللی بوده است. قطعنامه تازه تصویب شده، الزام آور نيست اما بار اخلاقی دارد و نگاه غالب جهانيان را به اين مساله بازتاب می دهد. اين قطعنامه توسط کانادا پيشنهاد شده بود و آمريکا و کشورهای غربی از آن حمايت کردند

کشورهايی نظير کوبا، کره شمالی، سودان، سوريه و زيمبابوه که خود از سوی مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل در همين زمينه مورد انتقاد هستندبا این قطعنامه مخالفت کردند 

اين قطعنامه ضمن ابراز «نگرانی بسيار جدی»، به اين امر اشاره دارد که عليرغم قطعنامه های قبلی درباره حقوق بشر در ايران، «شواهد معتبری» از ادامه خشونت هايی چون سنگسار به عنوان نوعی مجازات برای مرگ، «شکنجه ومجازات های بی رحمانه و غير انسانی و تحقير کننده شامل شلاق زدن و قطع عضو» و اعدام های متعدد در ملا عام در ايران وجود دارد.

همچنين در اين قطعنامه نسبت به دستگيری فعالان و خشونت عليه جنبش زنان که برای به دست آوردن حقوق خود تلاش می کنند، ابراز نگرانی شده است.

اين قطعنامه خواستار توجه جدی به خشونت ها و تبعیض هايی شده است که عليه مذاهب، اقليت های قومی و نژادی و به ويژه عليه مذهب بهائيت در ايران صورت می گيرد.

قطعنامه مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل از جمهوری اسلامی خواسته است که چه در قانون و چه در عمل همه نوع تبعيض را نسبت به اقليت ها و همچنين موارد دیگر نقض حقوق بشر را برطرف کند.

همچنين از دولت ايران درخواست شده که اعدام در ملا عام و سنگسار را کنار بگذارد و از اذيت و آزار، ارعاب و شکنجه مخالفان سياسی و فعالان حقوق بشر دست بردارد و کسانی را که «به شکل مستبدانه و به خاطر باورهای سياسی شان زندانی شده اند»، آزاد کند.

صدور قطعنامه در مجمع عمومی بر خلاف قطعنامه های شورای امنيت، لازم الاجرا نيست و بيشتر برای فشار تبليغاتی به کشورهای ناقض حقوق بشر صورت می گيرد.

ايران و مسئله حقوق بشر

به گفته مدافعان حقوق بشر، جمهوری اسلامی ايران به شکلی گسترده بيانيه جهانی حقوق بشر را زير پا می گذارد و نقض گسترده حقوق بشر، سال ها است که در ايران اتفاق می افتد. تا کنون مجمع عمومی در قطعنامه های بسياری عملکرد حکومت ايران در اين زمينه را محکوم کرده است.

بازداشت های دانشجويان، روزنامه نگاران، فعالان حقوق زنان ، ممنوع الخروج کردن آنان، جلوگيری از ادامه تحصيل برخی دانشجويان، اعدام های گسترده متهمان موسوم به اراذل و اوباش، سنگسار، فشار بر اقليت های مذهبی و اعدام جوانانی که در سنين کودکی مرتکب جرم شده اند، از جمله اين موارد است.

عبدالکريم لاهيجی ، نايب رييس فدراسيون جوامع دفاع از حقوق بشر به راديوفردا می گويد:« با توجه به اين که بالاترين و والاترين حق بشری حق زندگی است بدترين وضعيتی هم که در رابطه با نقض حقوق بشر در ايران امروز وجود دارد متاسفانه افراط در نقض اين حق و اعدام مردم است

وی می افزايد: «در سال ۲۰۰۷ بيش از ۳۰۰ تن در ايران اعدام شده اند که به نسبت جمعيت ايران بالاترين رقم اعدام در جهان است. متاسفانه مجازات اعدام بدترين ننگ در کارنامه حقوق بشری جمهوری اسلامی است

دکتر حسين باقرزاده فعال مستقل حقوق بشر در لندن  می گويد: «در حالی که سير اعدام در جهان رو به کاهش است آمار نشان می دهد که  در ايران موج اعدام تشديد شده است.»

یکی از تازه ترين موارد اعدام مربوط به ماکوان مولود زاده است که ۱۴ آذر سال جاری، در زندان کرمانشاه به دار آويخته شد و موجی از اعتراض جهانی را برانگيخت. وی به اتهام جرمی که در کودکی مرتکب شده بود، اعدام شد

UN voted asking Iran to Stop human rights violations

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly approved a draft resolution Tuesday expressing “deep concern” at the systematic human rights violations in Iran, including torture, flogging, amputations, stoning and public executions.

The 192-member world body adopted the resolution by a vote of 73-53 with 55 abstentions.

The resolution is not legally binding but carries moral weight and reflects the majority view of world opinion.

The resolution was introduced by Canada and backed by the United States and Western nations. It was opposed by many countries whose human rights records have been criticized and who object to the General Assembly targeting specific countries including Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe.

The resolution expresses “very serious concern” that despite previous assembly resolutions on human rights in Iran, there have been “confirmed instances” of violations including the use of stoning as a method of execution, “torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations,” and multiple public executions. The resolution calls on the government “to eliminate, in law and practice, all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations” against minorities.

It also calls on Iran to abolish public executions and stoning and “to end the harassment, intimidation and persecution of political opponents and human rights defenders, including by releasing persons imprisoned arbitrarily or on the basis of their political views.”

A landslide victory in UN

“Today’s vote represents a bold step by the international community”
                                                               U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s
By Daniel Bases

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 18 (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly passed a nonbinding resolution on Tuesday calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, overcoming protests from a bloc of states that said it undermined their sovereignty.

The resolution, which calls for “a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty,” was passed by a 104 to 54 vote, with 29 abstentions.

“The resolution is not an interference, but we call on each member state of the United Nations to implement the resolution and also to open a debate on the death penalty,” Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema said after the vote.

“The moratorium is an important opportunity for international debate,” he told reporters. Italy, speaking on behalf of the EU, was a strong proponent of the resolution.

Two similar moves in the 1990s failed in the assembly. The resolution’s text stops short of an outright demand for immediate abolition; it carries no legal force but backers say it has powerful moral authority.

Among nations who voted against were Egypt, Iran, Singapore, the United States and a bloc of Caribbean states.

Eighty-seven countries — including the 27 European Union states, more than a dozen Latin American countries and eight African states — jointly introduced the resolution, though opponents singled out the EU as the driving force.

The resolution picked up several extra votes in the General Assembly since it was passed by a U.N. human rights committee last month by a vote of 99-52 with 33 abstentions.

Barbados, one of the most vocal opponents of the measure, said sponsors were trying to impose their will on other countries and that it had been threatened with the withdrawal of aid over the issue.

“Capital punishment remains legal under international law and Barbados wishes to exercise its sovereign right to use it as a deterrent to the most serious crimes,” Mohammed Degia, first secretary for Barbados, said just prior to the vote.

“Beyond all of this is the simple fact that the question of the death penalty is basically one of criminal justice as enforced and upheld within national legal systems,” he said, noting that Barbados had not carried out an execution in decades but still retained the right to do so.

The United States voted against but kept a low profile throughout the resolution’s progress to a vote.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokeswoman Michele Montas said Ban welcomed the vote.

“Today’s vote represents a bold step by the international community,” Montas quoted Ban as saying in a statement. “This is further evidence of a trend towards ultimately abolishing the death penalty.”

According to rights group Amnesty International, 133 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. Opponents of the moratorium, however, said more than 100 countries retained capital punishment on their statutes, even if they did not all use it.

China, Iran, Iraq, the United States, Pakistan and Sudan account for about 90 percent of all executions worldwide, according to Amnesty.

"We must now be extra vigilent": Nazanin Afshin-Jam

Today in two seperate letters , Nazanin Afshin-Jam asked the Canadian Government and Louis Arbor, the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner for their help in stopping the executions of Ali Mahin-Torabi and Mohammad Latif.
After referring to last week’s execution of Makwan Moloudzadeh, in her urgent letters Nazanin wrote:
“There seems to be a “killing spree” lately in Iran and we have just been informed of two more urgent cases. Because they are no longer informing when an execution is set to take place, we must now be extra vigilent to prevent these occurances.”

Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Stop Child Execution volunteers have been working many extra hours in the past few days communicating with different human rights organizations, governments, attorneys, parents as well as informing and posting in different website , volumes of bad news coming from Iran regarding child executions.

As reported by SCE campaign 2 weeks ago, in a recent interview one of the heads of Iran’s police stated that as many as 170 Iranian children will be facing execution soon: http://scenews.blog.com/2325039/

UN Human Rights Commissioner express "grave concern" about Makwan's execution

GENEVA  :  United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, expressed her “grave concern” over the execution of Makwan Moloudzadeh on Wednesday in a prison in Kermanshah Province in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  “It was reported that the execution was carried out, despite his alleged victims withdrawing their accusations” Ms. Arbour observed.

In the statement issued from her office, Ms. Arbour said: “The High Commissioner calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect its international legal obligations and the strong international consensus against the execution of minors”

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) place a legal obligation on States Parties not to impose death penalty for those under the age of 18 years at the time of commission of crimes. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a party both to the ICCPR and to the CRC.

Iran is the leading executor of children and juvenile offenders. Mouloudzadeh was sentenced to death in May by a Kermanshah court even though it said all of his accusers had retracted their statements.

Iran says it is prosecuting criminals under its Islamic Sharia law and rejects criticism of its human rights record.

Source: Reuters

UN versus Iran's children rights obligations – Part IV

The following is part four of series of articles by D.W. Duke, attorney member of SCE Campaign studying the possibilities of taking action against Islamic Republic of Iran’s practice of child executions which is in direct violation of their obligations under the UN conventions and treaties that they have signed.    

By: D.W. Duke  

Part I 
Part II
Part III
Part IV:
Procedures for addressing individual complaints to United Nations

“This extremely broad scope may prove to be one of the most effective tools for human rights proponents given that it addresses violations in any part of the world “ 

The United Nations has three mechanisms for processing complaints concerning human rights violations under the treaty system. Those three processes are individual complaints, state to state complaints and inquiries. In this article we will focus primarily upon the individual complaint process since this would be the most relevant to our readers. In addition to complaint processes under the treaties, there are complaint processes under the special procedures, the Human Rights Counsel Complaint Procedure and the Commission on the Status of Women.

Individual Communications under the applicable treaty
Individuals who claim that their rights have been violated pursuant to one of the following covenants or conventions may bring a communication before the appropriate committee where the State in question has recognized the competency of the Committee to hear the complaint. Complaints may also be brought by third parties on behalf of individuals provided the one whose rights have been violated has given his written consent or where it can be shown that he is incapable of giving his written consent.

Four of the United Nations treaty bodies may consider complaints as follows:

The Committee on Civil and Political Rights may consider individual communications brought under the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. www.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr-one.htm

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women may consider individual communications brought pursuant to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. www.ohchr.org/english/law/cedaw-one.htm

Individual communications may be brought where State Parties have filed the appropriate declaration under Article 22 of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Punishment. www.ohchr.org/english/law/cat.htm

Individual communications my be brought where State Parties have filed the appropriate declaration under Article 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. www.ohchr.org/english/law/cerd.htm

A complaint process will also be available under the Convention on Migrant Workers once ten State Parties have made the necessary declarations under Article 77. www.ohchr.org/english/law/cmw.htm

The following link provides an overview for bringing complaints by individual communications under the treaty system. www.ohchr.org/english/bod…vidual.htm

Individual Communications under Special Procedures
On March 15, 2006 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/60/251 which established the Human Rights Council (HRC). In June 18, 2007 the Human Rights Council adopted a text entitled “UN Human Rights Council: Institution Building” (Resolution 5/1) by which a new complaint procedure was established to address “consistent patterns of consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world under any circumstances.” This extremely broad scope may prove to be one of the most effective tools for human rights proponents given that it addresses violations in any part of the world (not just in member States) and in any circumstances (not just in war.)

Under this procedure two working groups, the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations were established to review communications and to bring to the attention of the Council consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Council then makes a determination of whether the alleged violation is sufficient to warrant action.

Communications under Resolution 5/1 are to be submitted to:
Treaties and Human Rights Council Branch
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax (41 22) 917 90 11
Email: CP@ohchr.org

The following link provides more detailed information concerning the complaint procedure under the HRC. www.ohchr.org/english/bod…laints.htm

From UN website:

Pursuant to Council resolution 5/1, the Complaint Procedure is being established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.

It retains its confidential nature, with a view to enhancing cooperation with the State concerned. The procedure, inter alia, is to be victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner.

Two distinct working groups – the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations – are established with the mandate to examine the communications and to bring to the attention of the Council consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Manifestly ill-founded and anonymous communications are screened out by the Chairperson of the Working Group on Communications, together with the Secretariat, based on the admissibility criteria. Communications not rejected in the initial screening are transmitted to the State concerned to obtain its views on the allegations of violations.

The Working Group on Communications (WGC) is designated by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee from among its members for a period of three years (mandate renewable once). It consists of five independent and highly qualified experts and is geographically representative of the five regional groups. The Working Group meets twice a year for a period of five working days to assess the admissibility and the merits of a communication, including whether the communication alone or in combination with other communications, appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. All admissible communications and recommendations thereon are transmitted to the Working Group on Situations.

The Working Group on Situations (WGS) comprises five members appointed by the regional groups from among the States member of the Council for the period of one year (mandate renewable once). It meets twice a year for a period of five working days in order to examine the communications transferred to it by the Working Group on Communications, including the replies of States thereon, as well as the situations which the Council is already seized of under the complaint procedure. The Working Group on Situations, on the basis of the information and recommendations provided by the Working Group on Communications, presents the Council with a report on consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and makes recommendations to the Council on the course of action to take.

Subsequently, it is the turn of the Council to take a decision concerning each situation thus brought to its attention.

A communication related to a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is admissible, unless:

•  It has manifestly political motivations and its object is not consistent with the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other applicable instruments in the field of human rights law; or

•  It does not contain a factual description of the alleged violations, including the rights which are alleged to be violated; or

•  Its language is abusive. However, such communication may be considered if it meets the other criteria for admissibility after deletion of the abusive language; or

•  It is not submitted by a person or a group of persons claiming to be the victim of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms or by any person or group of persons, including NGOs acting in good faith in accordance with the principles of human rights, not resorting to politically motivated stands contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter and claiming to have direct and reliable knowledge of those violations. Nonetheless, reliably attested communications shall not be inadmissible solely because the knowledge of the individual author is second hand, provided they are accompanied by clear evidence; or

•  It is exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media; or

•  It refers to a case that appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights already being dealt with by a special procedure, a treaty body or other United Nations or similar regional complaints procedure in the field of human rights; or

•  The domestic remedies have not been exhausted, unless it appears that such remedies would be ineffective or unreasonably prolonged.

The National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), when they are established and work under the guidelines of the Principles Relating to Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles) including in regard to quasi-judicial competence, can serve as effective means in addressing individual human rights violations.

Partial List of References:

1. United Nations Charter
2. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
3. United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
4. United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
5. The First Optional Protocol on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
6. The Second Optional Protocol on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
7. The United Nations International Covention on the Rights of the Child
8. J. Robinson, Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Charter of the United Nations: A Commentary (1946)
9. L. Sohn & T. Buergenthal, International Protection of Human Rights 556 (1973) and L. Henkin The Age of Rights 51 (1990)
10. D. McGoldrick, The Human Rights Committee: Its Role in the Development of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 300 (1994)
11. International Human Rights, 3d edition, Buergenthal,Shelton and Stewart, (2002) West Publishing Company
12. International Human Rights in Context, 2d edition, Steiner and Alston, (2000) Oxford University Press
13. United Nations Human Rights Council Complaint Procedure

to be continued