Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/43/61 para 70(m)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government, the judiciary and the parliament, as
appropriate: Respect and fulfil the duty to conduct prompt, independent, impartial and effective
investigations into all reports of torture or other ill-treatment, and hold perpetrators
accountable;
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Article 38 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran prohibits torture and other illtreatment, but only when it is “used to extract an admission of guilt or to obtain information”.2
Similarly, Article 578 of the Islamic Penal Code asserts “any civil servant or judicial or nonjudicial agent who corporally mistreats and abuses an accused person in order to force him to
confess shall be sentenced […]”.3 Such provision is reiterated under Article 60 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure. Article 169 of the Prison Regulations prohibits “corporal punishment of the
accused or convicts, and imposing violent, excruciating or humiliating punishments, in all penal
institutions and prisons” and punishments are provided under Article 587 of the Islamic Penal
Code. 4 While Iranian law prohibits - conditionally - torture and certain abusive conducts during
interrogations, it does not provide a definition of torture per se. Torture and other ill-treatment
inflicted on an individual for other purposes than extracting confessions and/or information is
not, therefore, explicitly prohibited.
The prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment is a jus cogens norm under international law
and cannot be restricted in any circumstances,5 including by conflicting domestic laws.
However, the Iranian legal framework does not adequately protect individuals from torture and
other-ill-treatment and may well facilitate impunity. While Iranian laws provide for the
accountability of officials and authorities who infringed individuals’ rights and punishes the use
of torture in order to force confession, these provisions do not criminalize torture nor do they use

1
CCPR.7.1.S.1
CCPR.7.1.P.1
CCPR.7.O.1; CCPR.7.1.O.2
2
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran English translation
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
3
Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center,
https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-five/
4
Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center,
https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-five/
5 CCPR General Comment No. 20: Article 7, 10 March 1992, https://www.refworld.org/docid/453883fb0.html

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