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UN experts urge Iran to halt execution of young offender

A group of independent United Nations rights experts urge Tehran to halt the imminent execution of a man convicted of killing a classmate when he was a minor.

“We urge the Iranian authorities to immediately and permanently halt the execution of Hossein Shahbazi and annul his death sentence, in line with international human rights law,” the experts say in a statement.

Shahbazi, now 20, was just 17 when he was arrested in 2018 for fatally stabbing a classmate during a fight between four individuals.

The four UN experts — on child rights, extrajudicial executions, torture, and the rights situation in Iran — point out that the court had relied partially on confessions reportedly obtained under torture.

The experts, who are appointed by the UN but do not speak on its behalf, highlight that Shahbazi was denied access to a lawyer and to his family during the 11 days of police interrogation.

Shahbazi’s execution had been scheduled for January 5, but was temporarily halted, the experts say, warning that he “remains at risk of imminent execution.”

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