Iran to stop executing children

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

A display illustrating the number of women, children and gay men executed in Iran
Image: David Shankbone.

The government of Iran has announced that it intends to stop executing children who commit crimes in its country.

The announcement was made by Hossein Zabhi, the Iranian assistant Attorney General for Judicial Affairs, who issued directions for judges, saying that they should no longer issue the death penalty for minors.

The announcement was also broadcast by the Iranian state-run news agency.

Human Rights Campaigners welcomed the move. They say that the Convention on the Rights of the Child bans child executions. The convention states that all governments must recognize that "every child has the inherent right to life."

Although welcoming the move, Amnesty International stated that "the Iranian authorities should release the text of the directive and make clear that they intend to uphold their international human rights obligations by including cases of those convicted of murder in this ban." The human rights group said that it did not know if the ban on executions extended to murder cases.