[JURIST] Iranian authorities issued stays of execution [AFP report] Wednesday for two teens sentenced to death for crimes committed as juveniles. The two individuals facing the death penalty, Amir Khaleqi and Safar Angooti, were scheduled to be executed Wednesday morning after being convicted of murder committed while the were under the age of 18. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] called on Iran to halt the executions [AI press release] Tuesday. According to reports [Guardian report], Khaleqi was convicted of killing a man while drunk at the age of 16, while Angooti was convicted of killing a rival suitor at the age of 17. The lawyer for the two condemned inmates, Mohammad Mostafai, told AFP that he believes the executions will be stayed for a month.
Wednesday's stays of execution come as various rights groups criticized Iran [JURIST report] for the Friday execution of a 23-year-old woman, Delara Darabi, convicted of murder while a juvenile. Darabi was the second person this year to be executed for a crime allegedly committed while she was a minor. As there were seven such executions last year, and as there are reportedly approximately 130 juvenile convicts currently on death row [HRW reports] in Iran, the country has received a great deal of criticism [JURIST report] for failing to adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [text], to which Iran is a party. Last October, Iran banned the execution of minors for drug related crimes [JURIST report]. In both September [JURIST report] of last year and in June of 2007, HRW called for Iran to stop using the death penalty for juveniles [JURIST report; HRW press release] convicted of serious crimes.