The Islamic Republic of Iran leads the way in invoking capital punishment upon minors, forgoing a past pledge to do away with the death penalty for citizens under eighteen, Amnesty International said in a report released Monday.
Iran “has continued to consign juvenile offenders to the gallows, while trumpeting as major advances, piecemeal reforms that fail to abolish the death penalty against juvenile offenders,” Amnesty writes in its report, titled: “Growing Up on Death Row: The Death Penalty and Juvenile Offenders in Iran.”
The Amnesty report documents the execution of at least 73 minors inside Iran over the past ten years, stating that an additional 160 juveniles are lined up for execution on death row.
The New York Times reports that this may lead to doubts over whether Iran is truly trying to reform the rights of minors.
Instead, authorities have chosen to “whitewash their continuing violations of children’s rights and deflect criticism of their appalling record as one of the world’s last executioners of juvenile offenders,” Amnesty states in its report.
Iran leads the way as an executioner of juveniles, and is joined by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen as executioners of minors. There are also minors on death row in Maldives and Nigeria, the Times report adds.
Amnesty has rallied for the banning of capital punishment entirely, whether it be for minors or adults.
The report coincides with the United Nations decision to review country compliance with the Convention of the Rights of the Child, an agreement which was ratified by Iran in 1994.
Iran is “legally obligated” to adhere to the treaty and ensure that minors are not subject to the death penalty or life imprisonment, Amnesty adds in its report.
“This report sheds light on Iran’s shameful disregard for the rights of children. Iran is one of the few countries that continues to execute juvenile defenders,” Said Boumedouha, who works for Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, said in a statement. “Despite some juvenile justice reforms, Iran continues to lag behind the rest of the world, maintaining laws that permit girls as young as 9 and boys as young as 15 to be sentenced to death.”
Iran is one of the world’s leading execution of citizens in general, whether they be adults or minors. In 2015, Iran executed 966 of its own citizens, up from 721 in 2014 according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.