Crime & Justice

EU slams Iran over executions after 2 put to death

Brussels, Dec 1 (EFE).- The European Union (EU) on Friday called on Iran to cease irreversible death penalties following the execution of two persons, including a minor, in the country last week.

“There are credible reports that a minor, Hamidreza Azadi, and a protester, Milad Zohrevand, were executed in Iran on Nov. 24 and 23 respectively,” the EU Foreign Affairs Office said in a statement.

21-year-old Zohrevand was executed for his participation in last year’s anti-government protests, triggered by the death in police custody of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in September 2022.

“The current pace of executions in Iran, at least 600 since January, is appalling. The European Union reiterates its firm and principled opposition to the use of capital punishment at all times and in all circumstances,” the EU said.

The European bloc emphasized that the death penalty constitutes a “cruel and inhumane punishment,” lacking efficacy as a crime deterrent and infringing upon human dignity and integrity.

“It is a definite punishment that makes possible miscarriages of justice irreversible,” it added.

The mission recalled that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a party, prohibit in “absolute terms the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under the age of 18.”

“The European Union calls on Iran once again to refrain from any future executions and to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of capital punishment in line with the worldwide trend.”

Iran is the world’s leading country in applying the death penalty, with 576 executions carried out in 2022, a significant increase from the 314 in the previous year, according to the nonprofit Amnesty International.

So far this year, the country has executed more than 600 people, most of them for charges related to drug trafficking, according to the rights watchdog.

Earlier this year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, said Iran was executing around a dozen people every week. EFE

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