Stop Child Executions Campaign
Stop Child Executions is a non-profit organization co-founded by Nazanin Afshin-Jam that aims to put an end to executions of minors in Iran. The organization campaigns to raise awareness about the issue and to put pressure on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both in Iran and internationally. SCE is a follow-up effort to the successful campaign and petition that helped save the life of Nazanin Fatehi, an Iranian teenager sentenced to death for killing her attempted rapist. The "Save Nazanin" petition garnered more than 350,000 signatures worldwide. Fatehi was released from prison in 2007.
As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the government of Iran agreed not to execute anyone for an offense committed when they were under the age of 18. Article 6 paragraph 5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) declares: “Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age” and article 37 paragraph 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides that: “Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offenses committed by persons below eighteen years of age”. Upon ratification of the CRC, however, Iran made the following reservation: "If the text of the Convention is or becomes incompatible with the domestic laws and Islamic standards at any time or in any case, the Government of the Islamic Republic shall not abide by it."
In January 2005, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors states' compliance with the CRC, urged Iran to immediately stay all executions of child offenders and to abolish the use of the death penalty in such cases. In the summer of 2006, the Iranian Parliament reportedly passed a bill establishing special courts for children and adolescents. However, it had not been approved by the Council of Guardians, which supervises Iran's legislation to ensure conformity with Islamic principles. As Iran continued to execute juvenile offenders, international human rights organisations and foreign governments routinely denounced the executions as a violation of the treaty.
Stop Child Executions was founded in 2007. In October 2008 SCE issued a comprehensive list of solutions to end juvenile executions in Iran. In June 2009, SCE issued a report on child executions in Iran. Since 1990 at least 34 executions of juvenile offenders in Iran had been recorded (26 since 2005). As of October 3, 2008 SCE had recorded at least 140 juvenile offenders on death row in Iran, 3 in Saudi Arabia, 3 in Sudan and 1 in Yemen. As of October 2008 6 juveniles were reported to have been executed in Iran to date in 2008.
On February 10, 2012, Iran's parliament changed the controversial law of executing juveniles. Under the new law, 18 (solar years) is the age of majority for both genders, and juvenile offenders are purportedly sentenced under a different law than adults. Under the previous, Islamic law, girls reached majority at the age of 9 and boys at the age of 15 (in lunar years, which are 11 days shorter than solar years), after which they were held fully responsible for their crimes.
Despite the new legislation, execution of juveniles continues to be an issue in Iran. On February 20, 2015, Saman Naseem was reportedly hanged. Naseem was a juvenile at the time of his arrest. As of February 23, Iranian authorities had not officially confirmed the report.
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- "Juvenile Offender Saman Naseem Was Executed". Iran Human Rights. 20 February 2015.
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- "Still no official confirmation about the fate of Saman Naseem". Iran Human Rights. 23 February 2015.
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- SCE News and Update Blog
- SCE list of juveniles on execution row
- Solutions, a powerpoint presentation by SCE
- "A Prisoner of Colors" Documentary made by SCE about Delara Darabi facing execution in Iran
- Video Collage about the Campaign
- Execution of a teenage girl MUSIC VIDEO
- Letter of Leader of Australian Democrats to Iranian Government
- Letter of support of Australian Government
- Amnesty International Report August 2006
- Amnesty international: Iran: Amnesty International call for end to death penalty for child offenders
- Amnesty International report
- Human Rights Watch Organization report
- Execution of a teenage girl BBC News
- Execution of a teenage girl BBC Documentary Video
- Article from Wall Street Journal on Child Executions in Iran