Two 17-year-old boys have been “secretly” flogged and executed in southern Iran, according to a report from Amnesty International, which slammed the country for its “utter disdain for international law and the rights of children.”
The cousins – Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat – were arrested and convicted of multiple rape charges at the age of fifteen, in what Amnesty described as an “unfair trial.”
They were executed on April 25 in Adelabad prison in the city of Shiraz and did not know they had been sentenced to death until “shortly before their executions.” The families were only informed of their fate the next day, when they were asked to collect the bodies.
The rights group said the boys had marks on their bodies indicating they had been lashed before their death. Amnesty did not specify their methods of execution, but Iran commonly uses shooting, hanging, or stoning to carry out the sentence.
Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Director, condemned the Islamic Republic in a statement. “The Iranian authorities have once again proved that they are sickeningly prepared to put children to death, in flagrant disregard of international law.”
Luther added that Iran had demonstrated a “trend” of executing juvenile offenders in secrecy and without informing relatives of their death sentence “in a deliberate attempt to avoid global outrage.”
In an explosive report released in March, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran, Javaid Rehman, blasted the country for continuing to execute children in defiance of international law. Records show that at least 61 children have been executed by the regime since 2008.
“At least six child offenders were executed in 2018. All were aged between 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged commission of the crime, and all were executed on the basis of qisas for the crime of murder,” said Rehman. “According to previous reports, 5 child offenders were executed in 2017, 5 in 2016, 7 in 2015 and 13 in 2014.”
At least 85 children remain on death row in Iran.
[Photo: Bob Jagendorf / Wikimedia Commons]