71 KIDS ON DEATH ROW IN IRAN
June 27, 2007: Amnesty International appealed to Iran to stop executing children and those who committed their crimes before they turned 18. The human rights group said that 71 children, indicted for a variety of offences, were awaiting the death penalty in Iran, and added that Iran had executed the most minors of any country in the world since 1990. In that time 11 children were executed while they were still legally minors, and a further 13 were killed after turning 18. "Iran stands virtually alone as a country in which child offenders - persons under 18 at the time of the crime of which they were convicted - are put to death," Malcolm Smart of Amnesty said.
Tehran denies that it executes children. Amnesty, however, said that as recently as a month ago, Said Qanbar Zahi, 17, was executed, while another youngster, 19-year-old Mohammad Mousavi, who was sentenced to death aged 16, was executed in April. Other than Iran, the only countries that have executed minors since 2003 are China, Sudan and Pakistan, Amnesty said, calling on Tehran to order a moratorium on all child executions and to amend existing laws so that no child who commits a crime can face capital punishment. (Sources: News24.com, 27/06/2007)