Following reports of the imminent execution of the young Iranian Alireza Tajiki, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Bärbel Kofler issued the following statement today (9 August):
The news that the execution of young Iranian Alireza Tajiki could be imminent fills me with great concern.
He was only 15 years old at the time of the crimes of which he stands accused, and there are considerable doubts as to whether his trial was conducted in accordance with the principles of the rule of law.
Should Alireza Tajiki be executed, this would be an unacceptable violation of international law. Iran has ratified not only the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit the execution of individuals who were minors at the time of an offence.
I urgently appeal to the Iranian judicial authorities to refrain from carrying out this planned execution. Alireza Tajiki must be given a fair trial under the rule of law – and without the imposition of the death penalty.
The German Government opposes the death penalty, whatever the circumstances.
Alireza Tajiki, who is now 20 years old, was arrested in May 2012 at the age of 15 with other young men on suspicion of murder and rape. In April 2013, he was sentenced to death by a court in Fars province. According to a recent Amnesty International report, his conviction was based on confessions extracted through torture which he subsequently withdrew on repeated occasions. The original verdict was quashed in April 2014 and the court ordered an examination of Tajiki’s mental maturity. In November 2014, however, Tajiki was again sentenced to death on the basis of a medical report which claimed he had attained “mental maturity”. As a result of international pressure, his execution, which was due to be carried out on 3 August 2016, was postponed.