Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on an imminent execution in Iran

20.04.2020 - Press release

Commenting on reports about the imminent execution of the young Iranian Shayan Saeedpour, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (20 April):

I am very concerned by the news that the execution of the young Iranian Shayan Saeedpour could be imminent. He was only 17 years old at the time of the crime he allegedly committed and was apparently undergoing psychiatric treatment. Various human rights organisations have expressed serious doubts as to whether rule-of-law principles were upheld in the proceedings against him.

Should Shayan Saeedpour 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.

The German Government is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances and for all crimes. I thus urgently appeal to the Iranian judicial authorities to refrain from carrying out this planned execution. Shayan Saeedpour must be given a fair trial under the rule of law – and without the imposition of the death penalty.


Shayan Saeedpour (now 22), turned himself in to the police in August 2015 after killing a man in an argument whilst under the influence of alcohol. At the time of the offence he was a minor aged 17 years old, and was, according to human rights organisations, receiving psychiatric treatment. He was sentenced to death by the criminal court in Kurdistan Province on 23 October 2018, which held him to be fully responsible for his acts. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in February 2019. On 27 March 2020, Saeedpour escaped from Saqqez prison during a protest against conditions during the corona pandemic. He was recaptured on 3 April 2020 and taken to Sanandaj prison (Kurdistan Province).


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