Concluding Observations Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 16
Full recommendation
The State party should amend the Penal Code to abolish the imposition of
corporal punishment by judicial and administrative authorities. The State party
should also explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in child-rearing
and education, including by repealing the legal defences for its use in article 1179
of the Civil Code, articles 49 and 59 of the Penal Code and article 7 of the Law
on the Protection of Children.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Islamic Republic of Iran should amend the Penal Code to abolish the
imposition of corporal punishment by judicial and administrative authorities
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 Torture and other ill-treatment inflicted on an individual for
other purposes is not, therefore, explicitly prohibited. Furthermore, the Iranian legislation
does not provide a definition of torture.
The Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran impose corporal punishment for a significant
number of crimes. Articles 386 to 416 contain regulations allowing the imposition of a range
of punishment under qesas-e ozv (retaliation for injured limb or body part).4 Such
punishments include amputation of limbs, cutting of body parts and blinding. Under Article
278 of the Penal Code, the crime of theft, when meeting certain conditions,5 is sentenced with
“amputation of the full length of four fingers of the right hand of the thief […]”.6 At least 149
crimes continue to be punishable by flogging in Iran such as: consumption of alcohol, drug

CCPR.7.1.S.1; CCPR.7.1.P.1; CCPR.7.1.O1; CCPR.7.1.O1; CCPR.7.1.O.3
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) as referenced in “Flawed Reforms: Iran’s next Code of Criminal
Procedure”, Amnesty International, 2016, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
5
The conditions stipulated under this provision include but are not limited to the following: “The stolen property has a
legitimate value”, “the stolen property was placed in herz [a secure place]”, “the thief breached the herz [the secure place]”,
and “the theft was not committed in a time of famine” Article 268, Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran
(2013), Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamicpenal-code/
6
Article 278 Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2013) Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penalcode/
2

1

Select target paragraph3