On 21 April 2020, juvenile offender Shayan Saeedpour was executed in Iran, after being sentenced to death in October 2018 in connection with a fatal stabbing. He was 17 years old at the time of the crime that occurred in August 2015.
Article 91 of Iran's Penal Code authorises judges to use their discretion and not issue a death sentence against a minor who was not able to comprehend the nature and consequences of the crime at the time it has been committed. The European Union regrets that this possibility was not utilised on this occasion, and also notes that Mr. Saeedpour reportedly had a history of mental illness.
Death penalty sentences for and executions of 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 reaffirms its strong opposition against the application of capital punishment in any circumstance. We will continue to work for its abolition in the few remaining countries, including Iran, that still apply it.
The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Capital punishment also fails to act as a deterrent to crime. Any miscarriages of justice are irreversible.