On 25 April 2019, Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, both aged 17, were executed in Iran, after being sentenced to death on (or around) May 2017 for several crimes including rape. This is the first documented execution of minors in Iran for several years.
Article 91 of Iran's Penal Code prohibits executions of minors or juvenile offenders for certain categories of crimes, including drug-related offences. For other serious crimes, the article authorises judges to use their discretion and not issue a death sentence against a child who was not able to comprehend the nature and consequences of the crime at the time. The European Union regrets that this possibility was not utilised on this occasion, and also notes that Mr. Sohrabifar had also been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.
Death penalty sentences for and executions of minors or juvenile offenders are inconsistent with Iran’s international obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The European Union is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances and cases with no exception. We will continue to consistently reiterate our principled position against the death penalty and advocate for its abolition in Iran and worldwide.