Amnesty International has confirmed that Iran hanged a teen convicted of having raped another boy. It called it a proof of its “sickening enthusiasm” for punishing teen offenders for the wrong they do.
Nineteen-year-old Hassan Afshar went through a two-month trial where he could afford no legal representation of his case. He was then sentenced to seven months imprisonment in a juvenile prison. The regulator said that Afshar’s parents were promised a complete inquiry into the matter after the execution. The authorities, however, indicated holding a re-investigation of the case.
Hanging the convict suddenly on July 18 at Arak prison, Markazi Province came as the first confirmed death of a juvenile offender in Iran in 2016. The crime is called “lavat-be-onf” where a male forces himself on another male for sexual relations, or rape. Where the victim’s parents claimed that it was an incident of rape, Afshar maintained that the act was performed with mutual consent and the other teen took part willingly. He added that both of them have been involved in sex several times before.
Afshar was arrested at the age of 17 in December 2014 after he was accused of being involved in forcing a teen to have sex, the agency said. Amnesty International confirmed that the judicial officials promised the convict’s parents that the case would be reviewed in September but he was hanged ahead of that. “Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds,” Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program’s deputy director Magdalena Mughrabi said in a statement.
Mughrabi said that the convict was not informed of the death sentence as the authorities did not want him to “distress.” He said that it was surprising as they “were still prepared to execute him.” Over 150 people remained in the same row over alleged crime committed during their teenage years.
According to CNN, rape is not an offense that required death penalty. “The existence of laws in Iran that criminalize consensual male to male sexual intercourse with the death penalty means that if the intercourse, in this case, had been deemed consensual, the teenager who accused Hassan Afshar of rape would himself have been sentenced to death,” the rights group stated. “The criminalization of same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults violates international human rights law.”