Iran Executes Juvenile Offenders

Human rights groups are denouncing the execution of a teenager in Iran.

Behnam Zare, 18, was executed yesterday for killing another young man in a street fight when he was 15. At his trial, Zare told the court death had not been intentional, and he asked the victim’s family for forgiveness.

This is the second execution of a juvenile offender in Iran in the last two weeks. Reza Hejazi, 20, was executed last Tuesday for a crime he committed when he was 15.

Iran leads the world in executing juvenile offenders. Five people have been put to death this year for crimes they committed while they were under the age of 18, and at least 132 others are on death row.

Iran has signed both the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child - neither allows the execution of anyone under the age of 18. But according to Iran’s Islamic law, boys are punishable from the age of 15 and girls from the age of 9.

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