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Secretary-General, Concerned at Worrying Trend of Executions in Iran, Reaffirms United Nations Opposition to Death Penalty

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the news of the execution of two juvenile offenders last week in Iran.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child — both ratified by Iran — prohibit the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by persons below 18 years of age.

The Secretary-General is concerned that these two executions reflect a worrying trend in Iran.  Over 700 executions are reported to have taken place so far this year, including at least 40 public, marking the highest total recorded in the past 12 years.  The majority of executions were imposed for drug-related offences — crimes that do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” as required by international law.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the opposition of the United Nations to the imposition of the death penalty, and calls on the Government of Iran to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

For information media. Not an official record.