domestic law, in particular The Islamic Penal Code, allows for death sentences to be imposed upon juvenile offenders. Article 146 of the Islamic Penal Code of 2013 establishes that people which are not considered mature are not responsible for any crimes. However, Article 147 says that the age of maturity is 9 years for girls and 15 for boys. Article 148 specifies that if an individual commits a crime while being under the age of criminal responsibility, they will still be subjected to the punishments contained in the law7. This includes all crimes that are subject to the death penalty in Iran, including murder, qisas8 (retaliation), organized crime, sodomy, adultery and moharebeh (waging war with God)9. This article seemingly allows for minors to be subjected to such punishments. In the revised Islamic Penal Code of 2013 (IPC), the Islamic Republic took some steps to limiting the issuance of the death penalty to juvenile offenders. Article 91 of the IPC grants the courts the ability to ascertain whether a juvenile defendant was “completely mature” and unaware of the "nature of the crime", at the time it was committed. If the defendant is not deemed mature by the courts at the time of committing the crime, alternative punishments such as imprisonment could be applied. The note of this article specifies that, at the discretion of the judge, the courts can (but are not obligated to) seek a medical expert’s opinion from a "legal medical organization" in order to decide on the individual’s maturity at the time of committing the crime. In practice, these amendments to the Islamic Penal Code have not prevented the issuance of execution sentences for juveniles. In recent years, there have been many reports that courts have been selective in applying this article10. In some cases, despite the an expert failing to confirm a juvenile offender’s ‘maturity’ at the time of committing the crime, the presiding judge decided to issue a death penalty anyway. 11 While Iranian law permits the issuance of the death penalty for those under the age of 18, Iran argues it doesn’t carry out juvenile executions.12 This is because the government of Iran generally doesn’t carry out the execution while they are juveniles, but rather issues them a suspended death sentence that is to be carried out after they turn 18. This is contrary General Comment 36 of the ICCPR13 and General Comment 10 of the CRC.14 In 2017, a number of UN 7 Article 148 of the Islamic Penal Code. Qisas refers to retaliation punishments such as, if a person cuts off someone else’s finger, the victim may inflict the same punishment onto the perpetrator. 9 Article 279 of the Islamic Penal Code states: “Moharebeh is defined as drawing a weapon on the life, property or chastity of people or to cause terror as it creates the atmosphere of insecurity.” 10 11 Iran Human Rights: 12 Iran’s national report for the second cycle of the UPR, 2014: 13 General Comment 36 of the ICCPR, p38: 14 General Comment 10 of the CRC, p. 37: 8 2

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