will also be charged accordingly. Article 169 of the Prison Regulations prohibits “corporal
punishment of the accused or convicts, and imposing violent, excruciating or humiliating
punishments, in all penal institutions and prisons,” and punishments for such acts are provided
under Article 587 of the Islamic Penal Code. 5
The Iranian Criminal Code of Procedure (2015) lists the disciplinary punishments that may be
imposed on detainees and prisoners but excludes solitary confinement, which remains prescribed
under Article 175 of the Prison Regulations. 6 Under Iran’s Prison Regulations, any disciplinary
measures may be imposed after investigation by a disciplinary council composed of judicial and
prison officials, although the Regulations do not specify the offences that may be subject to
punishments. If the disciplinary council finds the accused prisoner guilty by majority vote, it may
impose “detention in solitary confinement for a maximum of 20 days.”7 The lack of regulations
for holding detainees in solitary confinement outside of the circumstances foreseen under the
Prison Regulations put detainees at risk of arbitrary solitary confinement, and for prolonged
periods of time. Article 175 of Iran’s Prison Regulations stipulates that solitary confinement
should not exceed 20 days,8 while the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of
Prisoners (or Nelson Mandela Rules) consider solitary confinement longer than 15 days as
prolonged solitary confinement. 9 The Human Rights Committee has stipulated that the
prolonged solitary confinement of detainees may amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.10
While Iranian law prohibits - conditionally - torture and certain abusive conduct during
interrogations, it does not provide a definition of torture per se. Torture and other ill-treatment
inflicted on an individual for other purposes than extracting confessions and/or information is
not, therefore, explicitly prohibited. Without the existence of a prescribed crime of torture under
Iranian law, perpetrators cannot be prosecuted. While provisions of the Islamic Penal Code could
be used for the prosecution of torture, they are restrictive in their definition and scope of
application. The Penal Code limits prosecution to acts of physical assault, therefore excluding
other forms of torture and ill-treatment, including acts harming the psychological integrity of the
accused.

5

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/
6
Article 524, Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iranian Prisons Regulations, as referred to in
https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
7
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
8
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
9
Rule 44, Nelson Mandela’s Rules or UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners,
https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/Nelson_Mandela_Rules-E-ebook.pdf
10
General comment No. 20 (1992) on the prohibition of torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
para. 6.

2

Select target paragraph3