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Delara Darabi

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made representations to the government of Iran on the execution of Delara Darabi on 1 May 2009; and if he will make a statement. (282497)

We were appalled to learn of the execution of Delara Darabi on 1 May 2009 for a crime she had allegedly committed at the age of 17. The EU, with strong UK support, issued a declaration on 2 May 2009 condemning her execution and urging the Iranian authorities to eliminate the death penalty for juveniles from its penal code.

In a press release issued on 7 May 2009 my predecessor, now the Minister for Armed Forces my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Bill Rammell), echoed these sentiments and expressed our deep sorrow at the news. My hon. Friend also summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to condemn Ms Darabi’s execution and the continued practice of executing juvenile offenders. He expressed concern at Iran’s continued disregard for international human rights law; and reminded Iran of their freely undertaken obligations.

Iran is signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which unequivocally prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by those under the age of 18.