Two Teen Boys Have Been Secretly 'Lashed' And Executed In Iran

Two 17-year-old boys have been secretly flogged and executed in southern Iran, according to a report from Amnesty International.

Amnesty International said that the two boys, who were also cousins were arrested and convicted of multiple rape charges at the age of fifteen.

It is believed that the two boys were given an unfair trial and it is possible they may have been wrongfully convicted.

The Iranian human rights organisation, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, have stated that Iran's court system regularly disregards "principles essential to the proper administration of justice" that any findings of guilt may be uncertain.

Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat. Source: Amnesty International.

Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat were executed after being transferred to Abelabad Prison without any prior notification being given to them, their lawyers or their families. The families were granted a visit with the boys before their deaths but they weren't told that it was the last time they would see their sons alive.

While the Amnesty International statement did not specify their methods of execution, Iran commonly uses hanging, shooting, or stoning to put prisoners to death.

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Amnesty International has reported that the boys had marks on their bodies indicating they had been lashed with whips before their death. Iran's use of corporal punishment such as lashing, amputation under anaesthesia and forced blinding is well-recognised by the human rights organisation.

The families were only notified of the boys' deaths after a call from Iran's Legal Medicine Organization requesting that they collect their bodies.

Philip Luther, the director of Amnesty International in the Middle East and North Africa, said that the execution of Sohrabifar and Sedaghat proves that Iran is "sickeningly prepared to put children to death, in flagrant disregard of international law".

People protest against the death penalty in Iran opposite Downing Street, London, 2018. Source: Getty.

The practice of imposing the death penalty on people aged younger than 18-years-old when convicted of a crime is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Iran is a signatory to the ICCPR, which states that "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age". Despite ratifying this covenant in the late 70s, Iran has continued to be the top executioner of children in the world.

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Between 2005 and 2015, Iran executed 73 juvenile offenders, according to Amnesty International.

Women protest against execution practices in Iran. Downing Street, London, 2018. Source: Getty.

Rose Kulak, an Amnesty International Australia campaigner told 10 Daily that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights "singled out Iran for criticism on this issue saying that Iran violates 'far more often than any other state' the absolute prohibition of executing people under 18."

"Our recent report found that Iran increased its use of the death penalty at the time of the crime, executing seven such people, with a further 85 remaining on death row at the end of 2018," Kulak said.

Alireza Tajiki was executed in August 2017. Source: Getty.

In August of 2017, 21-year-old Alireza Tajiki was put to death after being found guilty of sodomy and fatally stabbing a friend at age 15.

At the time of his sentencing, activists claimed that Tajiki's confession was obtained under duress as he was submitted to torturous beatings, floggings, and suspension by his arms and feet.

Amnesty International campaign for the abolishment of capital punishment globally and recognise Iran as the world's second-highest executioner of people in the world -- in 2018 the Islamic Republic put at least 253 people to death.