Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/22/56 para 78(j)
Full recommendation:
Consider a moratorium on capital punishment until the efficacy of judicial safeguards can be
meaningfully demonstrated, and stay the execution of individuals who have alleged violations of
their due process rights.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1

There is currently no standing moratorium on the death penalty in Iran. Most of the crimes that
are punishable by death in Iranian law would not be considered “most serious” under
international law. Iranian law allows the issuance of death sentences for various crimes. There
are three types of death penalty punishments in Iranian law. Qisas execution, hud`ud execution,
and tazir execution. Currently the following crimes are punishable by death: intentional murder
(qisas)2; sex offenses including adultery with married persons, rape, incest and sodomy (hudud)3;
crimes against religion and society, including moharebeh, corruption, apostasy, and hypocrisy
(hudud); repeating offenses for specific crimes including drinking alcohol, adultery with
unmarried (hudud); and some drugs related offences, military espionage, disruption of the
economic system, insulting the prophet Mohammad (tazir).
Despite the existence of several means and mechanisms that accept complaints regarding the
violation of rights in Iran, such as the Judge’s Disciplinary Court, the Parliament’s Article 90
Commission and, in general, any appeals courts including the Supreme Court, there is little
evidence to suggest that these complaints are properly analyzed and adjudicated. Iran does not
have any administrative processes or independent human rights monitoring mechanisms in place
that ensure the prohibition of capital punishment. Officials tasked with carrying out inspections
of detention centers, such as prison wardens and prosecutors, are all considered part of the same
judicial structure. This could result in biased investigations into cases of mistreatment and
arbitrary deprivation of life in detention facilities.

1

CCPR.6.1.S.1; CCPR.6.2.S.1; CCPR.6.3.P.1; CCPR.6.1.O.1
The subject of "Qisas" is mentioned in the third book of the Islamic Penal Code, which covers Articles 289 to 537, Articles 301
to 311 (Chapter 3 in Part I, Book III), and Articles 381 to 385 (Chapter II in Book III).
3
The subject of "Hudud" is mentioned in the second book of the Islamic Penal Code, which covers Articles 217 to 288. Among
the crimes under this "title" that could lead to the death penalty are:
Adultery (Chapter 1, Section 1 of the Second Book), Articles 224 and 225.
Sodomy (Chapter 2, Part 1 of the Second Book), Articles 234 and 236.
Insult to the Prophets (Chapter 5, Section 1, Book 2), Article 262.
Theft for the fourth time (Chapter 7, Part 1 of the second book), Article 278.
Moharebeh (War against God) (Chapter 8, Part 1 of the Second Book), Article 282.
Corruption on Earth (Chapter 9, Section 1 of the Second Book), Articles 286 and 287.
2

1

Select target paragraph3