The UN had harsh words for Iran on Tuesday over the country's decision to execute two young people last Friday. "We deplore the executions," Elizabeth Throssell, a rep for the UN Human Rights Office, said in a statement in reference to the deaths of Hamidreza Azari, 17, and Milad Zohrevand, 22. It's "the first reported execution of an alleged child offender in Iran this year," Throssell said in reference to Azari, who had been accused of murder.
Norway-based Iran Human Rights also condemned Azari's execution, pointing out that international laws bar the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders and alleging the boy gave a "forced confession," reports Sky News. Throssell added that Zohrevand was "the eighth person to be executed in the context of the September 2022 protests" that followed the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. "Available information indicates that his trial lacked the basic requirements for due process under international human rights law," she said of Zohrevand.
"There are also troubling reports that Zohrevand's parents were arrested following his execution," she added. "We also call on the government to stop using criminal procedures to punish political activists and others for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly." AFP reports Iran executed 582 people in 2022, far more than the 333 executions that occurred in the year prior—and this year could outpace it. Voice of America reported earlier this year that Iran Human Rights put the tally of executions in the first half of 2023 at 354, a 36% rise over the same period in 2022. (More Iran stories.)