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Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the execution of a young Iranian

31.01.2018 - Press release

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (30 January 2018) in response to reports on the execution of 22-year-old Iranian citizen Ali Kazemi on 30 January 2018 and the imminent execution of 27-year-old Iranian citizen Hamid Ahmadi:

“I am deeply shocked to hear that Iran executed Ali Kazemi, a young Iranian, yesterday.Ali Kazemi was only 15 years old at the time of the crime he is accused of having committed. His execution is thus a completely unacceptable violation of international law. His lawyer was not informed of his pending execution.This is at least the second time that a person aged under 18 years old at the time of a crime has been executed in Iran this year. Many other people who were minors at the time of the crime they are accused of having committed are on death row, including Hamid Ahmadi, who was only 17 years old at the time of the crime he is accused of having committed. There are serious doubts as to whether rule-of-law principles were upheld in the proceedings against him. 
 
These executions must stop.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 therefore urgently call on all those responsible in Iran to halt the execution of Hamid Ahmadi and other convicted parties with immediate effect.”

Background information:

Ali Kazemi was arrested in 2011 at the age of 15. He was accused of having stabbed another youth to death during a fight involving several young people.

Hamid Ahmadi, who is now 27 years old, was sentenced to death in 2009. He is accused of fatally stabbing a youth during a fight between five teenagers. There are considerable doubts as to whether rule-of-law standards were upheld in the proceedings against him. In June 2015, a retrial was granted following reforms in Iran’s juvenile law. In December 2016, however, Hamid Ahmadi was again sentenced to death. A further application for a retrial was rejected in October 2017. His execution could now be carried out at any time. 


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