Concluding Observation Committee on the Rights of the Child CRC/C/IRN/CO/3-4 para 36(c) Full recommendation: Commute all existing sentences for offenders on death row who committed a crime while under the age of 18 years. Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1 The execution of child offenders – with children defined as human beings below the age of 18 years old2 – is prohibited under international law, namely Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”), Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”) and customary international law.3 The death penalty should not be imposed for crimes committed by a person under 18 years old, regardless of their age at the time of trial, sentencing or the execution of the capital punishment.4 Iran has ratified the CRC and ICCPR, thus it is explicitly obligated to prohibit such executions. Yet the laws in Iran, particularly the Islamic Penal Code of 2013 ("Islamic Penal Code”), still impose death penalties for child offenders. Article 146 of the Islamic Penal Code establishes that persons not considered mature are not responsible for any crimes, but Article 147 stipulates that the age of maturity (and therefore, criminal responsibility) for girls is 9 years old and for boys 15 years old. Therefore, child offenders of these ages and above may be punished under that law,5 including for all crimes that are subject to the death penalty in Iran, such as murder, qisas (retribution in kind),6 organised crime, sodomy, adultery and moharebeh (waging war with God).7 Iran has undertaken several legislative reforms to restrict death sentences for child offenders. On 12 May 2020, Iran introduced the Law on Protection of Children and Adolescents,8 which seeks to provide alternative punishments to capital punishment for persons under the age of 18, but it 1 CCPR.6.5.S.1; CRC.6.1.S.2; CCPR.6.5.P.1; CCPR.6.5.O.1; CCPR.6.5.O.2 2 CRC Article 1. 3 See Commission on Human Rights resolution 2003/67. 4 CRC General Comment No. 10 "Children’s rights in juvenile justice” (2007), para 75, 5 Article 147 of the Islamic Penal Code. 6 For instance, if a person cuts off someone else’s finger, the victim may inflict the same punishment onto the perpetrator. 7 Article 279 of the Islamic Penal Code states: “Moharebeh is defined as drawing a weapon on the life, property or chastity of people or to cause terror as it creates the atmosphere of insecurity.” 8 See 1

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