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UN Condemns Iran's Execution of a Minor and Calls for a Halt to Capital Punishment

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BNN Correspondents
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UN Condemns Iran's Execution of a Minor and Calls for a Halt to Capital Punishment

In a stern rebuke to Iran, the United Nations Human Rights Office has expressed its censure over the execution of two Iranian individuals, one of whom was a minor. The execution of 17-year-old Hamidreza Azari, the first reported execution of a minor in Iran this year, and 22-year-old Milad Zohrevand, has sparked international outrage and concern.

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Violation of International Conventions

The UN has underscored that Azari's execution violates international conventions that unequivocally prohibit the execution of individuals under 18. The organization has urged Iran to immediately cease the use of capital punishment, a plea that echoes the collective voice of the global community advocating for the sanctity of life.

(Read Also: UN Deputy Special Envoy Warns of ‘Playing with Fire’ in Syria)

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Execution in Connection with Protests

Zohrevand's execution is linked to the protests that broke out in September 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini. Amini died in custody after being arrested for an alleged dress code violation, sparking widespread outrage and leading to harsh governmental crackdowns. The events led to numerous deaths and arrests, with Zohrevand's trial reportedly lacking due process. His parents were detained in the aftermath of his execution, an act that further underscores the severity of the situation.

(Read Also: Pentagon Evaluates Iranian UAV Incident: Implications for U.S. Middle East Strategy)

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Call for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty

UN spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell has highlighted Iran's extensive use of the death penalty, particularly for drug offenses and disproportionately against minorities. Throssell has called for a moratorium on the death penalty in Iran, while also urging the Iranian government to refrain from punishing political activists under criminal procedures. The respect for the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly is paramount, Throssell said.

The report from the UN highlighted that Iran executed at least 582 individuals in 2022, marking the highest number since 2015. This figure represents a significant increase from the 333 executions carried out in 2021, highlighting a troubling trend in the country's use of capital punishment.

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