Iran: Children feature on the long list of those executed
Children feature on the long list of those executed. Amnesty International confirmed the execution of four child offenders last year: Javad Saberi, Vazir Amroddin, Samad Zahabi, and Fatemeh Salbehi. Last year the use of the death penalty in Iran soared to its highest level in a decade. The United Nations special rapporteur says Iran executed between 996 and 1054 people in 2015, mostly for drug offenses. Iranian authorities continue to clamp down on free speech and peaceful dissent. Revolutionary courts have handed down harsh sentences against social media users, including several death sentences. People affiliated with banned opposition parties, labor unions, and student groups are routinely prosecuted. Ethnic and religious minorities are persecuted and women face widespread discrimination. And Iran continues to imprison dozens of activists and human rights defenders for their peaceful or professional activities. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she raised rights concerns with Zarif. In the rush to welcome Tehran in from the cold, Australia should not trample over the rights of vulnerable Iranians.