In a horrible violation of human rights and international conventions, Iranian authorities executed juvenile offender Mohammad Hassan Rezaei at the Lakan Prison, in Rasht city.
Security forces arrested Rezaei 12 years ago, accusing him of murdering a man. However, in the lack of reliable evidence, interrogators severely tortured him and coerced him to accept the crime.
Afterward, Iran’s judiciary filed forced confessions as testimony and sentenced him to death. Mohammad Hassan Rezaei was the fourth juvenile offender, hanged in 2020.
Human rights activists and organizations previously expressed their concerns over the immediate execution of Rezaei. Since December 18, Amnesty International launched an urgent action, calling human rights defenders to demand Iranian authorities to suspend the death penalty.
However, the government finally transferred him to solitary confinement on Wednesday, December 30. Authorities acknowledged the Rezaei family to visit their loved one for the last time.
“After more than 12 years on death row, Mohammad Hassan Rezaei was transferred to solitary confinement in Lakan Prison in Rasht on Thursday, and his family was told that his execution would be carried out ‘in a week’. The Iranian authorities are yet again waging an abhorrent assault on children’s rights and making an absolute mockery of juvenile justice,” said Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee arrested at 16 and tortured to "confess” is hours away from execution in a prison in Rasht, Iran. @khamenei_ir @HassanRouhani @JZarif must halt his execution now and ensure a fair retrial in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice. #SaveHassan pic.twitter.com/Yvmy0LlEym
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) December 30, 2020
“Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee arrested at 16 and tortured to “confess” is hours away from execution in a prison in Rasht, Iran. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif must halt his execution now and ensure a fair retrial in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice. #SaveHassan,” Amnesty Iran tweeted on December 30.
“Iran is one of the last remaining countries in the world which continued to carry out executions, even for crimes committed by minors, in violation of its obligations under the International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights and Convention on the Rights of the Child,” wrote Iran Human Rights Monitor on December 31.
According to human rights defenders, the Iranian government has executed at least 257 prisoners, including political and civil rights activists, prisoners of conscience, women, juvenile offenders, and followers of religious and ethnic minorities.
The Iranian opposition extremely slammed the Iranian authorities for this execution. “A prisoner was executed today in Rasht after 13 years of imprisonment. He had been arrested at the age of 16. Continued executions in Zahedan, Sanandaj, and Urmia show that this regime cannot survive without torture and executions,” the President-elect of National Council of Resistance of Iran Maryam Rajavi tweeted, adding, “I call for urgent action to save death-row prisoners, particularly minors, whose execution is in violation of international conventions.”