victim’s next of kin or their representative must be present at the execution.6 According to Iran
Human Rights, the next of kin are also encouraged to carry out the executions themselves 7 and
have received several reports of family members conducting executions, with the last case taking
place in March 2021 where a daughter carried out her mother’s execution.8
The victim’s next of kin is also allowed to pardon or commute the death sentence of the accused
by accepting diyah (compensation known as “blood money”). There are several institutions that
can intervene to mediate cases of individuals sentenced with qisas, notably in order to commute
qisas into diyah sentences (blood money). These institutions include a reconciliation commission,
a working group tasked to support mediation with the next of kin victim, conflict resolution council
branches and the Women and Children and Protection Office of the judiciary. 9
The Government of the Islamic of Iran noted that the State was not intervening in the pardon or
commutation of sentences in cases of qisas, which “is only possible on the basis of the request of
the owners of the blood”.10 Ultimately, if the victim’s next of kin does not grant pardon in exchange
for diyah, the sentence must be executed, with no option for the accused to seek pardon or
commutation from the State. In cases where the diyah pardon is available, there is no separate and
public system for seeking pardon or commutation.
In cases involving child offenders, Article 91 of the Islamic Penal Code, revised in 2013, allows
judges to pronounce alternative sentences in circumstances where the juveniles “do not realize
the nature of the crime committed or its prohibition, or if there is uncertainty about their full
mental development, according to their age”.11 The Article further adds that “the court may ask
the opinion of forensic medicine or resort to any other method that it sees appropriate in order to
establish the full mental development”.12 Provisions under Article 91 apply to Ms. Razieh
Ebrahimi and should therefore be considered in the retrial of her case.
In 2017, a number of special procedure mandate holders described ongoing executions in the
Islamic Republic of Iran as “conclusive proof of the failure of the 2013 amendments [including
Article 91] to stop the execution of individuals sentenced to death as children”.13 In 2019, the
6
Article 43(ch) of Regulation 9000/27863/100, 17 June 2019 (“The Regulationson on the Enforcement of hodud, death penalty,
amputation, qisas of life, body parts and injury, diyat, flogging, exile, loss of country, compulsory residence and prohibition of
residence in certain places or areas,”) https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/115267
7
https://iranhr.net/en/articles/4726
8
https://iranhr.net/en/articles/4668/
9
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, January 2019,
https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/40/67
10
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, January 2019,
https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/40/67
11
Islamic Penal Code (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/englishtranslation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penal-code/
12
Islamic Penal Code (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/englishtranslation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penal-code/.
13
OHCHR News, www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21547&LangID=E

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