Skip to main content


Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 1 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made any recent representations to the Iranian authorities on the continued use of the death penalty in that country. (303457)

The UK has ongoing concerns about the number of executions in Iran and in particular its use against juvenile offenders. We are committed to speaking out publicly against the death penalty and frequently make representations on behalf of individuals at risk of execution.

We have done so on over twenty occasions in 2009. In October, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary condemned the execution of Behnood Shojaee for a crime he committed at the age of 17, and expressed grave concern for Safar Angoti, a juvenile facing imminent execution. Most recently, on 20 November 2009, the Swedish Government, as president of the EU, summoned the Iranian ambassador in Stockholm to condemn a spate of executions, including that of Kurdish activist Ehsan Fattahian. They expressed concern that a high number of Kurds faced a similar fate and called for clemency.

The presidency also expressed concern that at least five persons have been sentenced to death as a result of mass trials following the disputed election result. We are concerned that the accused had not been given the right to fair trial in accordance with standards laid down in international law.