Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions A/HRC/14/24/Add.1
para 410
Full recommendation:
I wish to thank your Excellency for your letter dated 15 July 2009 in response to my letter of 23
August 2007, in respect to another case in which the accused juvenile offender had been
sentenced to qisas. Your letter indicates that through efforts of the Judiciary, the case had
entered the reconciliation case and that as a result of the victim’s guardians giving
their consent the execution had been stopped and the accused released. While I welcome
this outcome, I remain concerned that such efforts to decrease the carrying out of death
sentences against offenders who were juveniles is an utterly inadequate approach to com
plying with your Excellency’s Government’s obligations under international law. These
can only be fulfilled by immediately stopping all executions for crimes committed by
persons who were not aged 18 at the time of the offence. Laws permitting the death sentence to
be imposed on juvenile offenders are inherently inconsistent with the international
legal obligations assumed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and should be promptly repealed.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The Islamic Penal Code (2013)2 establishes the age of criminal responsibility at 9 lunar years for
girls and 15 lunar years for boys.3 However, the age of responsibility for ta’zir crimes (crimes for
which fixed penalties are not provided in Islamic law giving the judge discretion as to the
sentence imposed) is 18 years for all children. For these crimes, convicted children are sentenced
to correctional measures. In contrast, criminal responsibility for crimes punishable by hudud
(punishments fixed by God) or qisas (punishment or retribution in kind), which carry mandatory
punishments such as death, is maintained at the age of “maturity” that is 9 lunar years for girls
and 15 lunar years for boys. Reportedly, four convicted child offenders were executed in 2019 in
the Islamic Republic of Iran.4
In qisas cases, the pardon or commutation of the sentence is based solely on the request of the
victim or the victim’s guardian.5 The accused are thus unable to request their own pardons or
commutation, but there are a number institutions which can intervene to mediate cases of
1
CCPR.6.5.S.1; CRC.37.1.S.2
CCPR.6.5.P.1
CCPR.6.5.O.1; CCPR.6.5.O.2
2
Article 146 and 147, 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/
3
Article 1210, note 1
4
ECPM, Iran Human Rights, https://www.ecpm.org/wp-content/uploads/Rapport-iran-2020-gb-070420-WEB.pdf
5
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, January 2019,
https://undocs.org/Home/Mobile?FinalSymbol=A%2FHRC%2F40%2F67&Language=E&DeviceType=Desktop

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