Iran: Funeral of hanged youth draws 6,000 people

Tehran, 7 Dec. (AKI) - An estimated 6,000 people - almost the entire population - from the Kurdish Iranian town of Paveh, have attended the funeral of Makwan Moloudzadeh, 19-year-old Iranian youth hanged at dawn on Wednesday.

A video of the event distributed by the committee campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran showed 300 cars entering the town's cemetery after the funeral on Friday. Many young people attended the funeral ceremony.

As the funeral took place on Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, condemned the execution and called on Iran to respect international conventions against executing juvenile offenders.

Arbour expressed her "grave concern" about the execution of Moloudzadeh.

Nineteen-year-old Makwan Moloudzadeh was hanged on Wednesday, while Iranian authorities had promised to review the sentence.

He was hanged in Kermanshah prison for having had a homosexual relationship when he was aged 13. He reportedly had a relationship with a boy a year younger than him. He was also convicted of the rape of three boys, even though the accusations against him were later withdrawn.

"It was reported that the execution was carried out, despite his alleged victims withdrawing their accusations and the head of the judiciary issuing an order to stay the execution, pending a further judicial review of the sentence," Arbour said.

His lawyer, Saiid Eghbal, told Adnkronos International (AKI) on Thursday that neither he nor Makwan's family had been warned of the imminent execution and had been assured of a review.

The head of the Judicial Authority, Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, had told several humanitarian groups and Molouzadeh's lawyer that the death sentence would be postponed.

In Iran homosexuality is forbidden and is punishable with the death penalty.

Since the beginning of the year, 210 people have been hanged in Iran. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have criticised Iran for its record - one of the highest execution rates in the world.

Iran is a party to international treaties which place a legal obligation on states not to impose the death penalty for anyone under the age of 18.


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