Feb 20 2009
Atefah Sahaaleh was hanged in a public square. Her death sentence was imposed for ‘crimes against chastity.’ The state-run newspaper accused her of adultery and described her as 22 years old. But she was not married and she was just 16.
In terms of the number of people executed by the state, Iran is estimated to be second only to China. As a signatory of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has promised not to execute anyone under the age of 18. But the clerical courts do not answer to parliament. They abide by their religious supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, making it virtually impossible for human rights campaigners to call them to account.
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