22 March 2018

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01/31/2006 Saudi Arabia - Iran

UN to Saudi Arabia: An end to the execution of minors

At least 126 people on death row for crimes committed while still minors.  Concern also for the execution of minors in Iran.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Hrw) – Saudi Arabia must halt the execution of minors.  The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child made the recommendation public January 27th last.

According to Human Rights Watch (Hrw) in the Kingdom there are over 126 people on death row for crimes they committed while still minors, some when they were as young as 13.

It is – says the UN Commission – "a serious violation of the fundamental rights" as laid out by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified also by Saudi Arabia in 1996, which prohibits capital punishment and sentences of life imprisonment without possibility of release for persons under the age of 18 at the time of the crime and guarantees children accused of a crime the right to legal or other assistance in the preparation and presentation of their defence.  The committee said it was "deeply alarmed" over the discretionary power judges hold to treat children as adults in cases involving capital punishment and has called on Saudi Arabia "to immediately suspend the execution of all death penalties imposed on persons for having committed a crime before the age of 18".

"It appears that the Saudi government is not serious about honouring the commitments it has made under international human rights treaties," said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. "This shows the large gap between Saudi Arabia's human rights obligations and its daily practice".

In September 2005, Human Rights Watch urged the Saudi government to commute the death sentence of 14-year-old Ahmad D., sentenced to death in July 2005 for killing another child when he was 13. Ahmad D. did not have a lawyer and he only confessed under police questioning, he was detained in solitary confinement during the investigation and the court reportedly refused his father's request to have a psychological examination determine his maturity.
In the last few months Hrw also dealt with a similar situation in Iran, where on July 19th last two youths were executed for having sexually abused a child, when they were minors.   Before the two youths were put to death, each also received 228 lashes for theft, disturbing public order, and consuming alcohol.

In 2004 Iran condemned at least four young people to death for crimes committed when they were minors, recent that says there are at least 30 juvenile offenders now on death row.

Elsewhere in the world, 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. The United States executed nine juvenile offenders during this period; the other countries are each known to have put one juvenile offender to death. The U.S. Supreme Court declared the juvenile death penalty unconstitutional in March 2005. (PB)

See also

11/10/2017 08:58:00 UN - ASIA
U.N. Chief says death penalty has 'no place in 21st century’

He urged member states that still carry out executions to join the 170 countries that have halted or abolished the practice. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq responsible for 87 per cent of all recorded executions. In 2016, executions worldwide were down 37 per cent from 2015. The risk of a miscarriage of justice is an "unacceptably high price" to pay.


24/03/2009 CHINA
Death Penalty: China first place in 2008, 1718 people killed
Worldwide 2390 were executed. In the sad list dedicated to capital punishment China gets first place, Asia first among the continents. 93% of the death sentences carried out by five states. Along with China are Iran (346), Saudi Arabia (102), USA (37) and Pakistan (36).

22/05/2006 IRAN
Iran: the only country in the world to execute minors

Although it has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which forbids the practice, Tehran continues to put minors to death. Last year, between six and eight were killed and in 2006, there may already have been two victims.

13/03/2012 IRAN
Death penalties rise as two men are publicly executed
In 2011, there were 65 hangings, 19 in 2020 and 9 in 2009. With today's executions, the number of public executions rises to 15 this year. The United Nations calls for a moratorium and legal guarantees for the accused. Iran slams the West for using human rights to strike at the Islamic Republic of Iran.

26/11/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Riyadh: man to be decapitated for witchcraft
In a recent report, Human Rights Watch calls for the sentence to be overturned. Each year, dozens of people are convicted in the desert kingdom for acts against Sharia.

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