Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions A/HRC/14/24/Add.1
para 386a
Full recommendation:
Merely taking gradual measures to decrease the carrying out of death sentences against
offenders who were juveniles is an utterly inadequate approach to complying with your
Excellency’s Government’s obligations under international law, which 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Republic of Iran and should be promptly repealed.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”, which 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 cases of qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, Articles 386 to 416 of the Islamic Penal Code
(2013) provide a range of punishments. The responsibility for choosing the punishment is placed
on the victim’s family or next of kin by the state. They can choose retaliation by the death
penalty, accept monetary compensation called diya (blood money) or to forgive the defendant.
Where the next of kin choose retribution, the victim’s next of kin or their representative must be
present at the execution. 5 According to Iran Human Rights, the next of kin are also encouraged
to carry out the executions themselves 6 and have received several reports of family members
1

CCPR.6.5.S.1; CRC.37.1.S.2
CCPR.6.5.P.1
CCPR.6.5.O.1
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
https://www.ecpm.org/wp-content/uploads/Rapport-iran-2020-gb-070420-WEB.pdf
5
Article 43(ch) of Regulation 9000/27863/100, 17 June 2019 “Regulations on the Enforcement of hodud, death penalty,
amputation, qisasof 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
6
https://iranhr.net/en/articles/4726

1

Select target paragraph3