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UN Rights Chief Rebukes Iran for Executing Juvenile Offender


The United Nations human rights commissioner has rebuked Iran for hanging a man convicted of raping three boys when he was a teenager.

U.N. human rights chief Louise Arbour expressed "grave concern" about the execution of 20-year-old Makwan Mouloudzadeh in a statement Friday. She said Iran is a signatory to human rights pacts that prohibit executions for crimes committed by individuals under 18.

Arbour urged Iran to respect its international legal obligations and the strong international consensus against the execution of minors.

Iranian news media report that authorities hanged Mouloudzadeh Wednesday, despite a judicial decree staying his execution pending review of the case.

The boy's accusers later recanted their statements and Mouloudzadeh said he had been coerced by police to admit to the crime.

The French news agency, AFP, reports that Paris also condemned the execution. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry called on Tehran to put a hold on all executions of minors.

Iran's chief judge last month stayed the execution and ordered a review of the case by a panel of judges in Tehran. But the case was returned to Kermanshah in western Iran this week and local authorities rushed the execution.

Under Islamic law, crimes punishable by death include murder, rape, robbery, adultery and drug trafficking.

Amnesty International says Iran has executed more than 200 people so far this year, compared to 177 last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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