Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/40/67 para 74(a)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the judiciary: (a) Urgently halt the planned execution
of all child offenders, and commute the death sentences imposed on the basis of qisas and hudud
crimes for all child offenders.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The Islamic Penal Code (2013)2 establishes the age of criminal responsibility to be of 9 lunar years
for girls and 15 lunar years for boys.3 However, the age of responsibility for ta’zir crimes (crimes
for which specific penalties are not provided under Islamic law) 4 is 18. For ta’zir crimes, convicted
children are sentenced to correctional measures. In contrast, criminal responsibility for crimes
punishable under hudud (punishments established by Shari’a law) or qisas (punishment or
retribution in kind), which allow for the death penalty, is maintained at the age of “maturity”,
which is 9 lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys. Crimes such as adultery,
homosexuality, fornication, drinking alcohol, obscenity against the Prophet, theft, moharebeh
(fighting against the God), and corruption on earth, are among the crimes that included under
Hudud crimes, and Murder, mutilation are among crimes that punishable by Qisas.
The law on the “Protection of Children and Adolescents”,5 adopted in June 2020, provides a range
of alternative punishments for persons under the age of 18, however for crimes under qisas and
hudud sentences that are already established under the Islamic Penal Code, including the death
penalty, prevail.6
In cases regarding qisas, the right to pardon or commutation of the sentence exclusively belongs
to the victim or the victim’s guardian. The State does not have right to overrule their decision or
pardon the convicted person. This can deprive the child defendant of his or her right to seek pardon
or commutation of the sentence.7 There are a number of institutions that can intervene in order to
mediate cases of children sentenced through qisas. This mediation is notably used to convert qisas
1

CCPR.6.2.S.1; CCPR.6.5.S.1; CCPR.6.2.P.1; CCPR.6.5.P.1; CCPR.6.2.O.3; CCPR.6.5.O.1; CCPR.6.5.O.2
Article 146 and 147, Islamic Penal Code (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center,
https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penal-code/
3
Article 1210, note 1
4
Ta’zir crimes are acts that are in violation of Shari’a laws and/or the Islamic Government’s regulations. While the punishments
for crimes under hudud or qisas are provided under Shari’a law, taz’ir crimes do not have codified and fixed penalties under
Shari’a law, which are determined at the discretion of the Islamic Government .
5
The law adopted on May 12, 2020 : https://shenasname.ir/laws/6788
6
Article 25 of the law of “Protection of Children and Adolescents”.
7
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, January 2019,
https://undocs.org/Home/Mobile?FinalSymbol=A%2FHRC%2F40%2F67&Language=E&DeviceType=Desktop
2

1

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