Iran should change death penalty laws for juveniles: UN | world | Hindustan Times
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Iran should change death penalty laws for juveniles: UN

The UN agency for human rights has asked the Iranian government to change its laws that allows death penalty for juvenile offenders, following the execution of a 21-year-old boy convicted of murder while still a minor.

world Updated: Oct 14, 2009 08:37 IST

The UN agency for human rights has asked the Iranian government to change its laws that allows death penalty for juvenile offenders, following the execution of a 21-year-old boy convicted of murder while still a minor.

This latest execution shows there are no guarantees of clemency for juveniles until Iran changes its law and practice to end execution of juvenile offenders once and for all, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said. Behnoud Shojaie was convicted of murder of a 17-year-old boy in a street fight.

Shojaie was himself 17 when he committed the crime in 2005.

His case had been raised by UN Human Rights officials who asked that the young man not be put to death.

The former head of the judiciary in the country had previously agreed to suspend Shojaie's death sentence, in order to give the victim's family a chance to pardon him under Islamic Shariah law.

"It is the State's responsibility to stop these executions, not a family's prerogative," Pillay noted.

These executions violate Tehran's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which prohibit death penalty for juvenile offenders.