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Group: Iran Execution of Teens a Violation
By Associated Press
July 29, 2005, 2:08 AM EDT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Iran's executions of two teenagers last week violated international law, a New York-based human rights group has said.
Human Rights Watch condemned the July 19 public hangings of the two, aged 18 and 16, after they were found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy more than a year earlier. The older convict was 17 at the time of the offense.
The hanging brought condemnation from many foreign governments, including the United States.
"Death is an inhumane punishment, particularly for someone under 18 at the time of his crimes," Hadi Ghaemi, Iran researcher for the rights group, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "All but a handful of countries forbid such executions. Iran should as well."
Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and other rights advocates in Iran also protested the hangings, which took place in the northeastern city of Mashhad. Iran's Supreme Court upheld the verdict and allowed the execution.
In letters to Iran's president and the head of the country's judiciary, the rights group asked Iran to refrain from "inhumane" executions, especially of minors.
Besides Iran, only China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and the United States are known to have put juvenile offenders to death in the past five years, Human Rights Watch said.
Before the two youths were executed, each received 228 lashes for theft, disturbing public order and consuming alcohol.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibit imposing the death penalty for crimes committed before the age of 18, the rights group said. Iran has ratified both treaties.
Iran is thought to have executed at least four other juvenile offenders in 2004, and at least 30 juvenile offenders are on the country's death row.
Rights Advocates Condemn Iran for Executing 2 Young Men
By NAZILA FATHI
Published: July 29, 2005 - New York Times
TEHRAN, July 28 - Human rights advocates have condemned the execution last week of two young men convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy, calling it a violation of international law.
The ages of the two men were not announced by Iranian officials at the time of the execution, which took place on July 19 in Mashad in northeast Iran. But Human Rights Watch said they were 18 and 19, and the younger man was a juvenile when the assault took place.
"Death is an inhumane punishment, particularly for someone under 18 at the time of his crimes," Hadi Ghaemi, an Iran researcher for Human Rights Watch, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "All but a handful of countries forbid such executions. Iran should as well."
The two were hanged in public in Mashad after they received 228 lashes. They were convicted of raping a 13-year-old boy 14 months earlier, theft and drinking alcohol, which is banned under Iran's Islamic law. Their lawyer, Ruhollah Rezazadeh, was quoted by ISNA, the student news agency, as saying that one of the young men was under 18 when he was executed. The Associated Press identified them as Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni.
ISNA carried photographs of the execution showing two hooded men tightening ropes around the necks of two blindfolded young men. Iran's penal code allows execution of girls older than 9 and boys older than 15 if they commit crimes like murder and rape. In 2003, a court executed a 16-year-old girl in Neka in the north for having an illegal sexual relationship. Her family said she had suffered from a psychological disorder.
In the United States, the Supreme Court ruled in March that the juvenile death penalty was unconstitutional. Nineteen such executions have occurred since 1990, most recently in 2003. According to the Human Rights Watch statement, China, Congo and Pakistan are also known to have put juvenile offenders to death in the last five years.
Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said in an interview that she condemned the executions "and also the law that allows such sentences."
"No judge can rule otherwise as long as such a law is in place," she said. "Some 40 other juveniles have been sentenced to death and are waiting for their executions to be carried out."
The judiciary announced in a report last week a list of human rights violations at Iran's prisons but it did not point to the execution of juveniles or the increasing pressure on advocates of political causes. On Wednesday, a court issued an arrest warrant for Abdolfateh Soltani, one of the lawyers defending the family of an Iranian-Canadian journalist, Zahra Kazemi, who was killed in prison in 2003. The family's lawyers have demanded an appeal court to review the case after a court said her death was unintentional. The reason for Mr. Soltani's arrest was not specified in the warrant, Ms. Ebadi said.
The health of a political advocate, Akbar Ganji, who has been jailed for more than five years, has been deteriorating after more than a month and a half on hunger strike. His demand to be released unconditionally has been denied.
Iran News Jul 29th, 2005 - 16:17:01
Page One > Iran News
Barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran
Jul 29, 2005
The Iranian government is apparently hunting more gay teens, after publicly executing two boys for having sex with each other last week.
According to campaigners, police officials are searching for three boys connected with the "crimes" of Mahmoud Asgari (16) and Ayaz Marhoni (18), who were hanged last week.
An international protest is being urged in response to the hangings, which were conducted in accordance with the ultra conservative Sharia law.
Campaigners across the globe are calling for more action to be taken against the Iranian government for its actions.
The boys being hunted are thought to have been named by the hanged boys under torture, the Outrage! group claims. They have since disappeared.
It is thought that Asgari and Marhoni were subjected to more than 200 lashings during their 14 months in prison and forced to confess to crimes they may have not committed.
They were also accused of raping a 13-year-old boy, although the majority of press reports have dismissed this charge as an attempt to avoid any censure from international governments or human rights bodies.
"This is just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran," Outrage! campaigner Peter Tatchell said today.
"The entire country is a gigantic prison, with Islamic rule sustained by detention without trial, torture and state-sanctioned murder."
"According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. Altogether, an estimated 100,000 Iranians have been put to death over the last 26 years of clerical rule."
A London protest has been organised next month outside the capital?s Iranian embassy.
The protest will take place on 11th August between 1-2pm. Those who cannot attend are being urged to email and phone the Iranian Ambassador.
Campaigners across the globe may well join the protest, after action was taken globally on the hangings.
In the UK, the government was criticised for attempting to forge closer links with the Iranian government, while in other European countries gay groups called for an update to asylum legislation regarding lesbian and gay people fleeing conservative regimes.
In the US, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was urged to publicly denounce the killings.
'No to the assassins of the gay' - Reuters' Photos