Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/37/68 para 86
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recalls that the right to be free from torture or other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment can never be limited or interfered with, and urges the
Government to abolish all provisions that authorize such punishments such as flogging and
amputation.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran imposes corporal punishment for a significant
number of crimes. Articles 386 to 416 contain provisions allowing the imposition of a range of
punishment under qesas-e ozv (retaliation for an injured limb or body part).2 Such punishments
include amputation and blinding. Under Article 278 of the Penal Code, the crime of theft, when
meeting certain conditions,3 is to be punished with “amputation of the full length of four fingers
of the right hand of the thief […]”.4 At least 149 crimes continue to be punishable by flogging in
Iran such as: consumption of alcohol, drug use and petty drug dealing, theft, adultery, “flouting”
of public morals, illegitimate relationships, and mixing of the sexes in public.5
In 2002 then-Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi issued a ban on stoning,6 but it remains
a punishment for the act of adultery by a woman and a man who meet the condition of ehsan7
under the Islamic Penal Code (2013).8 The practice reportedly continued despite the issuance of
the ban.9
Iranian authorities do not systematically or thoroughly release information on corporal
punishment sentences or their implementation. Reports of flogging cases rarely appear in the
1

CCPR.7.1.S.1; CCPR.7.1.P.1; CCPR.7.1.P.2; CCPR.7.1.O.1 ; CCPR.7.1.O.2
Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2013), https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/845048
3
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-islamic-penal-code/
4
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-penal-code/
5
For a list of acts punishable by flogging in Iranian law, see: Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
https://www.iranrights.org/library/document/3643
6
European Parliament Report, 2003, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A52003-0334+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
7
The condition of ehsan is described under Article 226 of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, English translation, Iran Human Rights
Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penal-code/
8
Article 225, 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/
9
Iran Human Rights, https://iranhr.net/en/articles/603/
2

1

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