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Thank you Chair,
Norway would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for the comprehensive report on the situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Norway remains concerned about the human rights situation in Iran, and for women’s rights in particular, especially the lack of equal rights in Iranian society and women’s limited access to work.
The continuing arrests and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders in Iran is worrying. Contrary to established rule of law principles, human rights defenders and lawyers are serving prison sentences based on arbitrary criteria.
Norway deplores the high number of executions still being carried out. We welcome amendments to the Anti-Narcotics law, but remain concerned about the lack of due process and fair trial for those accused of capital offences.
Norway opposes all use of the death penalty. In particular, we deplore the continued use of capital punishment on offenders who were under the age of 18 when the crime was committed. Death penalty for crimes committed by minors is explicitly prohibited in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Iran has ratified.
We are deeply concerned about some of the information in your report:
- that girls can be sentenced to death as young as 9 and boys as young as 15.
- that despite amendments made to the Penal Code and practical efforts aimed at reducing the executions, at least 33 child offenders have been executed since 2013.
- and that currently there are at least 85 juvenile offenders on death row in Iran.
In your/the Special rapporteur’s report you recommend the Iranian Parliament and the Judiciary, to halt such executions. Could you elaborate on what would be the most urgent and feasible step, and what role is there for international partners, in ending capital punishment for minors in Iran?