By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Saturday, 19 March 2016
According to Amnesty International, juvenile offender Saman Naseem, now 22, has been put under renewed pressure to do a video “confession” and threatened with “consequences”, including execution, if he fails to comply. He has refused to repeat such interviews he had once been forced to make. Amnesty also reported that the elderly prisoner of conscience Hossein Rafiee, a retired university professor, has had his six-year prison sentence, imposed for his peaceful political activism, upheld by an appeal court. The authorities have rejected his request for compassionate leave to be with his sick wife, who is due to undergo surgery.
Recently, in addition of Amnesty, other humanitarian and human rights watchdogs such as Human Rights Watch and Freedom House have condemned and criticized the harsh human rights abuse inside Iran. While the West believed that the Iranian regime would change its attitude after it had agreed on ending its nuclear ambitions, however, far from improving and respecting human rights values and standards, the regime continues its brutal dealing with its own.
Also on 14 March 2016, Ahmed Shaheed, an independent United Nations human rights expert raised continuing serious concerns about the extremely high rate of executions, especially for juvenile offenders, and fundamental flaws in the administration of justice in Iran. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran introduced his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva saying, ‘Iran executed at least 966 prisoners in 2015, the highest such rate in 10 years.’
"With at least 16 juvenile offenders reportedly hanged between 2014 [and] 2015, Iran remains one of a few countries still resorting to this practice despite a strict prohibition against it under international law," Mr. Shaheed said, urging Iranian officials to "put aside efforts at piecemeal reform in this area and ensure, once and for all, that no boy or girl who commits a crime under the age of 18 is ever put to death."