Stop Child Executions Campaign

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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.[1] Fatehi was released from prison in 2007.[2]

SCE is a member of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.[3]

Background information[edit]

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University a sign on campus noted a rally against child executions in Iran.

As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[4] and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),[5] 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”[6] 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”.[7] 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."[5]

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.[8] 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.[9] As Iran continued to execute juvenile offenders, international human rights organisations[10][11] and foreign governments[12] 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.[13] In June 2009, SCE issued a report on child executions in Iran.[14] Since 1990 at least 34 executions of juvenile offenders in Iran had been recorded (26 since 2005).[15] As of October 2008 SCE had recorded at least 140 juvenile offenders on death row in Iran,[16][17] 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.[18][15][19][20][21]

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.[22][23] 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.[22]

Despite the new legislation, execution of juveniles continues to be an issue in Iran. Amnesty International reported that at least 13 juveniles had been executed in Iran in 2014.[24] In February 2015, two sources reported that Saman Naseem, who had been a juvenile at the time of his arrest[24] had been sentenced to death and hanged.[25][26] Iranian authorities did not officially comment on the report[27][28] but in July 2015 Saman Naseem was reportedly still alive.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Someday' Is Now for Singer Nazanin". NPR. 24 April 2007. 
  2. ^ Anderssen, Erin (19 May 2012). "There's more to Nazanin Afshin-Jam than her beauty queen past". The Globe and Mail. 
  3. ^ "Partners". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". United Nations Treaty Collection. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Children's Rights: Iran". Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Treaty Series, Volume 999" (PDF). United Nations Treaty Collection. p. 175. 
  7. ^ Wikisource:United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child#Article 37
  8. ^ "Concluding observations: The Islamic Republic of Iran". Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 31 March 2005. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Iran Leads the World in Executing Children". Human Rights Watch. 20 June 2007. 
  10. ^ "Report on the death penalty in Iran" (PDF). International Federation of Human Rights. April 2009. 
  11. ^ "Reaction to the execution of Delera Darabi" (Press release). Human Rights Watch. May 2009. 
  12. ^ French reaction to the execution of Delera Darabi, May 2009 (in French); European Union's reaction to the execution of Delera Darabi, May 2009.
  13. ^ "SCE Solutions". Stop Child Executions. 
  14. ^ "From Cradle to Coffin: A Report on Child Executions in Iran" (PDF). Stop Child Executions. Foreign Policy Centre. 2009. ISBN 978-1-905833-16-0. 
  15. ^ a b "Executed Minors". Stop Child Executions. 
  16. ^ "The Row". Stop Child Executions. 
  17. ^ "Iran's Death Row Children". 29 October 2008. 
  18. ^ "Child in Yemen facing execution". Stop Child Executions. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. 
  19. ^ "Nazanin Afshin-Jam sends urgent letter to Yemen's President & officials". Stop Child Executions. Archived from the original on 30 July 2007. 
  20. ^ "Issue of Executions". Emad Baghi.  (in Persian)
  21. ^ "Stop Child Executions: Ending the Death Penalty for Child Offenders" (PDF). Amnesty International. 13 August 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 January 2010. 
  22. ^ a b "Iran changes law for execution of juveniles". Iran Independent News Service. 10 February 2012. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Death penalty for people under 18 is prohibited". Ghanoon Online. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012.  (in Persian)
  24. ^ a b "Iran urged to halt execution of Kurd arrested as a minor". BBC News Middle East. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Juvenile Offender Saman Naseem Was Executed". Iran Human Rights. 20 February 2015. 
  26. ^ Iaccino, Ludovico (20 February 2015). "Saman Naseem execution: Iran breaches international law by hanging Kurdish juvenile offender". International Business Times. 
  27. ^ "Still no official confirmation about the fate of Saman Naseem". Iran Human Rights. 23 February 2015. 
  28. ^ "The Fate of Saman Naseem and Other Prisoners of Uremia Is still Unclear". Human Rights Activists News Agency. 23 February 2015.  (in Persian)
  29. ^ "Saman Naseem Is Alive and Has Contacted His Family". HRANA. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 

External links[edit]