21-year-old Alireza Tajiki was sentenced to death for murder and sodomy – but confession may have been extracted under torture
IRAN demonstrated its “complete disdain for children’s rights” yesterday when it put 21-year-old Alireza Tajiki to death despite his having been a minor when convicted, Amnesty International said.
Mr Tajiki was arrested aged 15 and a year later convicted of murder and sodomy, both of which carry the death penalty in Iran.
His conviction rested on confessions which he said had been extracted under torture, including “severe beatings, floggings and suspension by the arms and feet,” the human rights charity said.
International appeals for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to stay the execution on the grounds of Mr Tajiki’s juvenile status at the time of the alleged crimes were ignored and he was hanged yesterday morning.
Amnesty says that “half-hearted” reforms dating from 2013, which allow judges to commute death sentences if they deem the convict was not mentally mature at the time of the trial, have been proven hollow by the continued execution of people arrested as children — with Mr Tajiki the fourth one to die this year.