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Iran executes man convicted of rape and murder as a child

SECURITY
Iran executes man convicted of rape and murder as a child

Iran's hardline authorities on Thursday hanged a 21-year-old man after he was charged with rape and murder and condemned to death as a child in "a grossly unfair" trial, Amnesty International said, calling his execution "shameful".

"This shameful act marks a critical turning point for Iran, and exposes the hollowness of the authorities’ claims to have a genuine juvenile justice system,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty's deputy Middle East and North Africa director.

Alireza Tajiki was arrested in May 2012, held in solitary confinement, and sentenced to death nearly a year later in April 2013 after a criminal court in Fars Province, southern Iran, had convicted him of murder and anal rape.

Tajiki's hanging was carried out despite his allegations that he was tortured into “confessing”, Amnesty reported.

Tajiki was the fourth person executed in Iran this year who was arrested as a child and at least 89 people are now on death row who were under 18 when their alleged crime was committed, Amnesty said.

The Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, also reported Tajiki's, execution on Thursday, deploring it as another "crime" perpetrated by the "mullahs' regime" and its "barbaric rule".

Iran is one of the few countries in the world that still executes juvenile offenders.

The Iran Human Rights watchdog on Wednesday said Tajiki's was scheduled to be put to death at Shiraz's Adel Abad Prison on Thursday and urged an immediate halt to his execution and "to all execution sentences for juvenile offenders in Iran".

The Irancell company testified that Tajiki was 11 kilometres from the scene of the rape and murder, but Iran's authorities refused to grant his request for a retrial, Iran Human Rights said.

Iran, one of the world's top executioners, has put to death 358 people this year alone according to Iran Human Rights.

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