International human rights organisations have condemned the execution of juvenile offenders in Iran. Six executions have taken place so far in 2008 for crimes committed while the offender was under 18 years of age.
Behnam Zare was convicted of murder after killing another young man in a street fight three years ago. One Iranian newspaper said Zare, who was 15 at the time, had told the court it had been an accident and had asked the victim’s family for forgiveness. He was hanged in a prison in the southern city of Shiraz.
Amnesty International says executing juvenile offenders in Iran had reached crisis levels, with at least 132 juveniles currently on death row. Iran was second only to China in the number of overall executions it carried out in 2007, for crimes including murder, rape, drug-trafficking and armed robbery. Amnesty also says so far this year at least 227 people have been executed in Iran.