For example, the Iranian Islamic Penal Code (2013) is largely based on the Government’s interpretation of Islamic Sharia precepts and contains provisions which directly discriminate between girls and boys under the criminal justice system. One of the most telling examples is the age of criminal responsibility, which is set at nine lunar years for girls (equivalent to eight years, nine months) and fifteen lunar years for boys (equivalent of fourteen years, seven months).4 Additionally, a large number of provisions under the Iranian Civil Code are discriminatory towards women. These provisions notably include the legal age of marriage,5 the share of inheritance,6 and the right to divorce.7 In marriage, the Civil Code provides rights to the husband over those of the wife,8 notably by establishing that the position of the ‘head of the family’ as the exclusive prerogative of the husband. Under Iranian law, the husband is entitled to control aspects of his wife’s life9 and demand that she performs her ‘duties’.10 These deeply entrenched structural discriminations in the Iranian legal system ultimately translate to widespread discrimination against women, in all aspects of their lives.11 Similarly, the stipulation of “Islamic criteria” excludes lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals from the Constitution’s legal safeguards because same sex relations are penalized under the Iranian Islamic Penal Code.12 The Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran explicitly forbids sexual relations between same-sex partners, whether such relations are consensual or coerced, and in some cases sentences such acts with the death penalty.13 There are no official, readily available statistics on the number of executions for same-sex relations.14 However, NGO reports have shown that it occurs and suggest the incidence rate is high.15 16 17 18 19 4 Criminal responsibility, Articles 140, 146 and 147 of the Islamic Penal Code, 2013 5 Article 1041, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 6 Articles 861 to 948, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 7 Article 1133, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 8 Articles 1102 to 1119, 1133 to 1142, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 9 For instance, under Article 1117 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran “The husband can prevent his wife from occupations or technical work which is incompatible with the family interests or the dignity of himself or his wife.” 10 Article 1108, Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 11 See more: Minority Rights, 12 Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, 13 Articles 233 to 237, Islamic Penal Code 2013, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, 14 Small Media, 2018, 15 Amnesty International, 2017, 16 Amnesty International, 2018, 17 Iran Human Rights, 2019, 18 Human Dignity Trust, 19 International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), 2019, 2

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