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Iran (Child Executions)

Volume 569: debated on Tuesday 29 October 2013

We receive regular reports on the human rights situation in Iran, including information about executions. Executions for crimes committed by people under the age of 18 are a breach of international law, and the UK opposes the use of the death penalty as a matter of principle.

According to leading human rights groups, Iran has the shameful record of being the world’s largest executioner of juvenile offenders. What representations can the Government make to ensure that that barbaric practice ends, in accordance with the country’s obligations under the convention on the rights of the child?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. This country has, under the EU sanctions regime, helped designate over 80 human rights violators in Iran, and, of course, helped establish the UN special rapporteur on Iran’s human rights and lobbied for his mandate to be renewed at the March UN human rights council.

Is the Minister aware of growing concern about the human and civil rights of Baha’is in Iran and, in particular, about the UN special rapporteur’s report? What action does he intend to take?

I thank the hon. Lady for raising that point. I am absolutely aware of that concern, which is a key concern of the UN special rapporteur. As I said in answer to the previous question, our country lobbied extremely hard to ensure that the mandate was extended for a further year and will do so again in the future precisely so that these concerns can be addressed.