Iran - 114 on death row!

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Iran - 114 on death row!

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:23 pm

IRAN:

Rights group says 114 on death row in Iran for crimes committed as minors


Iran has sentenced 177 people under the age of 18 to death over the past decade and has executed nearly 3 dozen of them, a human rights group said Tuesday.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran published on its Web site a list of the 114 minors who still remain in prison awaiting execution, some of whom are now older than 18. The youngest person on the list was a 12-year-old boy sentenced by a court in 2005. The group did not specify what crime he was convicted of.

Aaron Rhodes, a spokesman for the group in Vienna, Austria, said the campaign has called on the international community to take steps to press Iran to abolish the executions.

Rhodes said many of the death sentences were based on confessions obtained from defendants under torture or interrogations in which they had no access to a lawyer.

Iranian judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told reporters in Tehran on Thursday that "there are no executions of individuals under the age of 18 in Iran."

But Jamshidi made a distinction between death sentences and Islamic law of "qisas," or eye-for-eye retribution for murder, which he said the judiciary does implement. He said in cases of qisas for those under 18 years old, "the main approach of the judiciary ... is based on peace and compromise." Under Islamic law, an attempt is made to reach a settlement with the family of a murder victim, but if no agreement is reached, the killer is executed.

The International Campaign, which is based in New York and Vienna, said the list was compiled by Iranian rights activist Emad Baghi, who is serving a one-year prison sentence in connection with articles he wrote critical of the country's rights record.

(source: Associated Press)
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