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World Briefing / IRAN

Laws eased on juvenile executions

October 19, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A new Iranian judicial directive bans the execution of juvenile offenders for drug crimes but keeps capital punishment for those convicted of murder, a top judiciary official said.

Hossein Zabhi, deputy state public prosecutor, said judges are still required under Iran's Islamic-based laws to hand down death sentences for minors convicted of murder if the victim's family refuses financial compensation.

Mohammad Mostafaei, a lawyer who has launched a campaign against execution of juveniles, welcomed the new directive but said it was not sufficient. Mostafaei said Iran has signed two global conventions banning capital punishment for crimes committed before the age of 18, but the practice continues.

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