Another international campaign to stop the execution of Arman Abdolali, a juvenile delinquent in Iran, was completely ignored and carried out yesterday. Each year, a number of such people are executed, prompting an outpouring of public declarations condemning the Iranian regime’s judiciary for a long list of issues, as well as for being one of the few countries that still execute juveniles in clear violation of international law.
Iran regime is to blame for 70% of all youth death
It is believed that the religious system is to blame for 70% of all youth death sentences handed down globally in the last 30 years. Despite the protests of human rights groups, Western governments, Iranian activists, and expatriates, the trend shows no signs of abating anytime soon. The main issue is that all of the clemency campaigns appear to be aimed solely at Tehran’s conscience, despite the fact that it lacks one.
The country’s own so-called human rights monitor has frequently claimed that international law does not bind the regime if the law in question conflicts with the regime’s stated cultural and religious convictions. The regime’s extreme interpretation of Islam, which allows boys to be considered legally accountable at the age of 13 and girls at the age of nine, is apparently behind the practice of murdering young offenders. There would be no limit to what the government could rationalize if such retrograde thinking was allowed to transcend international law.
The regime is allowed to break international law
The international world, of course, rejects Tehran’s justifications for its actions. However, the regime is allowed to break international law every time it executes a minor, convictions a prisoner based on forced confessions, or commits any number of other abuses of due process. The regime is never held accountable and emerges from each controversy with a heightened sense of impunity.
Regrettably, the regime’s impunity was fully established more than three decades ago, and this permissiveness is part of a lengthy heritage. It’s awful enough that juvenile executions have gone unpunished in recent years, but it’s simpler to understand why Tehran doesn’t fear potential retribution when one recalls that the regime carried out mass juvenile murders without repercussions in 1988.
Hundreds of minor criminals were executed
Hundreds of minor criminals were executed across the country over the period of three months, nearly all of them were followers of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran). The emergence of a contemporaneous audiotape by Hossein Ali Montazeri, the sole high-ranking Iranian official to raise concerns about the killing, clearly corroborated this in 2016.
The former heir apparent to Supreme Leader Khomeini condemned his colleagues for participating in the “worst crime of the Islamic Republic” in the recording, which was released by his son, and confirmed that the then-ongoing executions were targeting children, pregnant women, and people who had already served out their judicial sentences.
The death toll of over 30,000
Of course, the (PMOI / MEK Iran) had been aware of these details from the start and had brought them to the attention of Western politicians. Nonetheless, the (PMOI / MEK Iran)’s narrative, which includes a total estimated death toll of over 30,000, was backed by the leaked tape.
Iran’s current president, Ebrahim Raisi, is the most notorious of these criminals. His inauguration in August was perhaps the strongest sign yet of the regime’s impunity for crimes of human rights. Silence on Raisi’s previous role is simply a continuation of the same callous Western attitudes that have empowered the Iranian regime’s judiciary to carry out juvenile executions despite several resolutions and auction announcements.
Now, more than ever, genuine action is required, not just action declarations. Of fact, the United States and Europe have put economic sanctions on Iran for its human rights violations, but such ambiguous pressure can only produce ambiguous results. For true reform to occur, specific sanctions for specific offenses must be imposed, such as the prosecution of Iran’s ruler for crimes against humanity.