Iran on Thursday executed an Iranian Kurd arrested at the age of 17 for belonging to the rebel Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) and involvement in armed confrontations with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards despite calls for leniency.
Saman Naseem, 22, was sentenced to death in April 2013, after allegedly being tortured.
His execution was confirmed by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) on Friday.
According to the FIDH, Nassem’s family, which had been ordered by the authorities to “keep quiet”, were told to collect his personal effects from prison this weekend, which is the usual practice after an execution in Iran.
The FIDH underscored in its communiqué on Friday that Iran was a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which forbids the execution of minors, and that Tehran had ignored international calls – including from France – for leniency.
“Saman Naseem was a minor when he was arrested and his fundamental rights were not respected,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement issued late on Thursday. “France calls on Iran to respect its international human rights obligations, particularly those regarding children.”
Thousands took to Twitter this week demanding leniency for Naseem in posts addressed directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has an account with the micro-blogging site despite the service being banned in Iran.
Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, and Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, also urged Iran this week to halt the execution.
“Regardless of the circumstances and nature of the crime, the execution of juvenile offenders is clearly prohibited by international human rights law,” the pair said in a statement.
They asked Iran to act in accordance with its own policies, which state that confessions obtained under torture are inadmissible under Iranian law.