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Treatment of Children in the New Islamic Penal Code – Chart of Applicable Punishments

(23 February 2012) – In recent weeks, many claims have been made by Iranian parliamentarians and subsequently spread in Iranian media about the purported abolition of the death penalty and Qisas punishments (retribution) for juveniles under 18 years old in the new Penal Code in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The charts below, designed by Iranian lawyer Mohammad Hossein Nayyeri, examine the amendments in the Code as they relate separately to boys and girls and show that the assertion that the death penalty for juveniles has been abolished is inaccurate. The tables in red in the chart demonstrate that, even with the new changes, the risk of application of the death penalty and other violent and inhumane punishments on children still exists. The discrimination between boys and girls in the application of these punishments is clear too. For a more detailed explanation of the changes, please see Nayyeri’s legal essay on the subject entitled “Criminal Responsibility of Children in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s New Penal Code”.

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Children in the New Penal Code of the IRI:

 

 

Notes and Expressions:

* Qisas: Crimes punishable by Qisas (retribution) are a category of crimes under Islamic criminal law which is best illustrated in the old maxim “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life”.

** Hudud: Crimes punishable by hadd (pl. hudud) are those with fixed and severe punishments in Islamic sources. These include crimes such as illicit sex, sodomy, homosexual behavior between women, consumption of intoxicants, muharebeh, etc. and are punishable by the death penalty, stoning to death, amputation of the right hand and left foot, flogging, etc.

*** Ta’zir: crimes punishable by ta’zir are those for which punishments are not fixed and instead are left to the discretion of the Shari’a judge. However, almost all ta’zir crimes are dealt with in the Penal Code and the judge may apply the punishments prescribed in the Code. They include the rest of the crimes other than hudud and qisas.

Note 1- Minor Correctional Measures include submission of children to their parents, sending them to a social worker or psychologist, etc.

Note 2- Moderate Correctional Measures include detention in the Correction and Rehabilitation Center from 3 months to 1 year.

Note 3- Severe Correctional Measures include detention in the Correction and Rehabilitation Center for up to 2 years

Note 4- Extra Severe Correctional Measures include detention in the Correction and Rehabilitation Center for up to 5 years

Note 5- The tables in red show the risk of application of violent and inhumane punishments such as the death penalty, amputation, flogging, etc to children.

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Child Rights