Concluding Observation Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 13
Full recommendation:
The State party should immediately end the execution of minors, and further amend the draft
juvenile crimes investigation act and the Bill of Islamic Criminal Code with the aim of
abolishing the death penalty for crimes committed under the age of 18. The State party should
also commute all existing death sentences for offenders on death row who had committed a
crime while under the age of 18.
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 for 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 God) or qisas
(punishment or retribution in kind), which carry mandatory punishments, such as the death
penalty, is maintained at the age of “maturity”, which is 9 lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years
for boys.
The law on the “Protection of Children and Adolescents”,5 adopted in June 2020, provides
alternative punishments for persons under the age of 18, except for crimes under qisas and
hudud. In such cases, sentences that are already established under the Islamic Penal Code
prevail.6
In cases regarding qisas, the pardon or commutation of the sentence is based solely on the
request of the victim or the victim’s guardian. This deprives the child defendant of his or her
right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence by the State.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 sentences into diya sentences (blood money). These
1

CCPR.6.5.S.1
CCPR.6.5.P.1
CCPR.6.5.O.1; CCPR.6.5.O.2
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

1

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