Two Inmates Including a Juvenile Executed in Yazd and Birjand Prisons

On Sunday, May 15, 2022, the execution of a juvenile offender convicted of murder was carried out in Yazd Central Prison. Additionally, last Tuesday, in Birjand, an inmate who was convicted of drug-related crimes was executed.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, and Iran Human Rights Organization, on Sunday, May 15, 2022, Mehrab Salehi, age 20, was executed for murder in Yazd Central Prison. He was a minor at the time of committing the crime.

According to one of his relatives, Salehi was arrested for murder in January of 2020 when he was only 16 years old.

Salehi’s execution was delayed twice after receiving a moratorium from the victim’s family. The victim’s family had asked for one and a half billion tomans to spare his life, which he and his family could not afford.

In addition, the Baloch Activists Campaign reported the execution of an inmate identified as Qobad Narooie, a resident of Zabol, in Birjand Prison. Three years ago, he was arrested for drug-related crimes.

These executions have not been reported by official sources and media outlets inside Iran so far.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between January 1 of 2021 and December 20 of 2021, at least 299 citizens, including four juvenile offenders, were executed. In addition, 85 citizens were sentenced to death in this period.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 88% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Dizelabad Prison Authorities Execute Juvenile Offender Sajad Sanjari Without Notifying Family

At dawn on Monday, August 2, Sajad Sanjari was executed in Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah. His family was not notified or allowed to visit him before the execution.

According HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Amnesty International, Sanjari was arrested in 2010 at the age of 15 on murder charges and sentenced to death.

Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, stated, “With the secret execution of Sajad Sanjari, the Iranian authorities have yet again demonstrated the utter cruelty of their juvenile justice system. The use of the death penalty against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime is absolutely prohibited under international law and constitutes a cruel assault on child rights.”

In December 2016, the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the authorities of the Islamic Republic to suspend the execution of Sajad Sanjari, a juvenile accused of murder.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Recently, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, Secretary of the state-run High Council for Human Rights, Majid Tafreshi, said that the Islamic Republic executes juvenile offenders “three to four times a year”, and claimed this should not be considered a human rights violation.

“The fact that Sajad Sanjari was executed in secret, denying his family and him even the chance to say goodbye, is an alarming pattern of the Iranian authorities carrying out executions in secret or at short notice to minimize the chances of public and private interventions to save people’s lives” Eltahawy further stated of Sanjari’s execution. “We urge the Iranian authorities to put an end to these abhorrent violations of the right to life and children’s rights by amending the penal code to ban the use of the death penalty against anyone who was under 18 at the time of the crime immediately.”