Concluding Observation Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 11
Full recommendation:
The State party should adopt legislation criminalizing domestic violence and take steps to
effectively combat domestic violence. It should ensure that victims have immediate access to
means of redress and protection, including through the establishment of a sufficient number of
safe houses for victims. The State party should ensure that acts of domestic violence are
effectively investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and sanctioned. The State party
should also ensure that a husband is not exempted from punishment for voluntary manslaughter,
in the event that he murders his wife on suspicion of adultery.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Islamic Republic of Iran should adopt legislation criminalizing domestic
violence and take steps to effectively combat domestic violence.
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not have laws which specifically criminalize domestic
violence. Article 630 of the Islamic Penal Code (2013) excludes husbands from criminal liability
when they commit murder, assault and battery against their wife if the husband catches their wife
committing a zina offence (adultery and fornication) with another man.2 Article 1105 of the
Iranian Civil Code recognizes the husband as the head of the family, which means that his orders
must be respected by his wife and children.3 ‘Disobedience’ can be used as a legal ground for
battery.4 Article 1108 of the Civil Code stresses that if a wife refuses to have sex with her
husband without a reasonable excuse,5 she is not entitled to ‘spousal maintenance’.6 Although
the legal minimum age for marriage is 13 years old under Iranian law,7 girls as young as 9 lunar
years can marry, subject to parental consent and court approval.8 Therefore, 9 lunar years old
married girls and older are also subject to the Civil Code Article 1108’s obligation to fulfil the
sexual needs of their husbands.
1

CCPR.2.1.S.1 ; CCPR.2.1.P.2 ; CCPR.2.1.O.1 ;CCPR.3.S.1 ; CCPR.3.P.3 ; CCPR.3.O.1 ; CCPR.3.O.4 ; CCPR.26.S.1 ;
CCPR.26.P.1 ; CCPR.26.O.2
2
Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-five/
3
Amnesty International, 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1311112015ENGLISH.pdf
4
Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf
5
A reasonable and valid excuse for a wife to refuse sexual relations is when the husband has contracted a venereal disease. Iran
Human Rights Documentation Centre, https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf
6
Amnesty International, 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1311112015ENGLISH.pdf
7
Article 1041 of the Civil Code as amended up until December 2000, NGO Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the
Child, 2016, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/IRN/INT_CRC_NGO_IRN_19809_E.pdf
8
Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf

1

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