According to reliable sources, an Iranian minor is to be publicly executed tomorrow (Wednesday, 21 September). Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (20 September):
“I was shocked to learn just now that an Iranian minor, Alireza Molla-Soltani, is to be publicly executed tomorrow morning. If that happens, Iran will be gruesomely continuing a horrific series of many more than 200 executions since the beginning of the year.
The public execution of someone who was a minor at the time the offence was committed makes the atrocity of capital punishment especially clear. The Alireza case is unfortunately not unique. This form of punishment is an especially egregious violation of the commitments under international law made by Iran itself.
I strongly urge the Iranian judicial authorities not to carry out the planned execution. There must be a fair trial for Alireza Molla-Soltani under the rule of law – without applying the death penalty.”
Seventeen-year-old Alireza Molla-Soltani is accused of having injured the well-known Iranian athlete Ruhollah Dadashi with a knife during an argument in July 2011. Dadashi later died from his injuries. According to his lawyer, Alireza Molla-Soltani acted in self-defence. One month later Molla-Soltani was sentenced to death. The death sentence is to be carried out by public hanging tomorrow (Wednesday, 21 September) at 4.30 a.m. local time.
By ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has committed itself to using the death penalty only for the most serious crimes and to upholding certain minimum standards, such as the exemption from capital punishment of anyone who was under age at the time of the offence.