Death Penalty Worldwide

Iran

Last updated on April 7, 2014

General

Official Country Name

Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran). [1]

Geographical Region

Asia (South-central Asia). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging.
Hanging is the most common method of execution. [4] Hangings are often public despite a 2008 judicial moratorium on public executions. [5] In 2012, there were 60 confirmed public executions. [6] Under certain circumstances the condemned are flogged prior to being hanged, [7] and at least one individual has been shot by a firing squad and then hanged. [8]

Shooting.
Shooting was last used in 2008, and is not commonly used. [9]

Stoning.
There are reports that stoning was used as a method of execution in 2012 [10] despite a 2002 [11] and 2008 [12] judicial moratorium on stoning. [13] In November 2012, the website “Melli-Mazhabi” reported that four women were stoned to death in Iran, although the Tehran Forensic Medicine Department rejected those claims. [14] Melli-Mazhabi’s report has since been cited by notable non-governmental organizations. [15] In August 2010, Iran Human Rights reported that seven stoning executions had been carried out over the past four years, and that 14 or more sentences of death by stoning (for 11 women and three men) were pending. In 2010, a highly publicized sentence of death by stoning was altered under international pressure. [16] In 2009, a woman was reportedly sentenced to stoning but was ultimately hanged. [17]

Individuals sentenced to stoning are placed in a stoning pit, buried to the neck (women) or waist (men) and others hurl stones at them until they escape the stoning pit, are incapacitated, or are dead. [18] In 2007, a condemned man “was still alive after stoning but his ear and nose had been smashed and slashed. When a forensic medicine specialist confirmed that he was still alive, Mr… [sic] smashed his head with a large concrete block and killed him.” [19] Because men (unlike women) are only buried to the waist, men infrequently but occasionally do escape the stoning pit, which terminates the penalty. [20]

Individuals have occasionally been flogged prior to stoning. [21]

The amended Islamic Penal Code, adopted in 2013, is silent as to the use of stoning as punishment for adultery. [22] However, the Code does provide for punishment prescribed by shariah law, which includes stoning. [23] Article 225 of the Penal Code mentions stoning as a possible punishment without mandating when it can or should be used. The Code also notes that if a court and the head of the judiciary rule that it is “not possible” in a particular case to carry out stoning, the person may be executed by another method. [24]

In February 2013, the spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s Justice Commission, Mohammad Ali Esfenani, told reporters that although stoning was removed from the Penal Code it still exists under shariah which is enforceable under the Penal Code. [25]

Other.
Falling From a Height. This method of execution was last used in 2008. [26] Judges sometimes sentence an individual to be thrown from a cliff or other height.

Comments.
The intent to subject the condemned to inhuman treatment is a factor in choosing a method of execution, [27] and at times additional punishment—such as flogging prior to execution—is specifically prescribed by statute as an element of the execution. [28] The intent to subject the condemned to degrading treatment is also a factor in choosing a method of execution, including public executions, executions in which the community participates in killing victims (adultery), televised executions, and indignity to the condemned’s body after execution. [29]

Beheading was last used as a method of execution in 2001. [30] However, a local expert informed us that beheading is no longer in use. [31]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Iran Profile, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14542950, May 23, 2013.
[2] U.N., Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm, Feb. 11, 2013.
[3] Amnesty Intl. News, Iran Hangs 40 People in Two Weeks Amid Surge in Executions, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-hangs-40-people-two-weeks-amid-surge-executions-2014-01-16, Jan. 16, 2014.
[4] The Intl. Fed. for Human Rights (FIDH), Iran: Resolution on Human Rights Violations, http://www.fidh.org/en/asia/iran/iran-resolutions-on-human-rights-violations-13754, Aug. 2. 2013.
[5] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 2, Oct. 2013.
[6] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran-2012, p. 11, http://iranhr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FINAL-Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-HD.pdf, Apr. 4, 2013.
[7] Human Rights & Democracy for Iran, Flogging Before Execution in Shiraz: A Man Received 50 lashes for Alleged Narcotics Charges, http://www.iranrights.org/english/document-2462.php, Oct. 1, 2013. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 38-39, Apr. 28, 2009.
[8] Iran Human Rights, One Man was Executed by the Firing Squad, and then Hanged in Isfahan Province Early This Morning, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article169, Jan. 26, 2008.
[9] Iran Human Rights, One Man was Executed by the Firing Squad, and then Hanged in Isfahan Province Early This Morning, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article169, Jan. 26, 2008.
[10] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204571.pdf, Apr. 19, 2013.
[11] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 40, Apr. 28, 2009.
[12] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 41, Apr. 28, 2009.
[13] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, p. 6, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[14] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran-2012, p. 16, http://iranhr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FINAL-Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-HD.pdf, Apr. 4, 2013.
[15] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204571.pdf, Apr, 19, 2013.
[16] Iran Human Rights, Report: Stoning in Iran, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1812, Aug. 21, 2010.
[17] Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[18] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136068.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[19] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 40 , Apr. 28, 2009 (translating a report); Iran Human Rights, Report: Stoning in Iran, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1812, Aug. 21, 2010 (confirming the 2007 date).
[20] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136068.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[21] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 39-43, Apr. 28, 2009.
[22] Mohammad Hossein Nayyerri, The Question of Stoning to Death in New Penal Code of the IRI, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/legal-commentary/1000000059-the-question-of-stoning-to-death-in-the-new-penal-code-of-the-iri.html#.UuGH63l6g1h, last accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
[23] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 220, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Mohammad Hossein Nayyerri, The Question of Stoning to Death in New Penal Code of the IRI, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/legal-commentary/1000000059-the-question-of-stoning-to-death-in-the-new-penal-code-of-the-iri.html#.UuGH63l6g1h, last accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
[24] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 225, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013.
[25] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran-2012, p. 17, http://iranhr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FINAL-Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-HD.pdf, Apr. 4, 2013.
[26] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 38, Apr. 28, 2009.
[27] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 38, Apr. 28, 2009.
[28] For example, Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, arts. 83-93, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013.
[29] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, Special Edition for the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Mar. 16, 2010; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 5, 39-40, Apr. 28, 2009; Iran Human Rights, One Man was Executed by the Firing Squad, and then Hanged in Isfahan Province Early This Morning, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article169, Jan. 26, 2008.
[30] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 38, Apr. 28, 2009.
[31] Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, email to DPW, DPW Iran Doc. E-1, Mar. 27, 2014.

Country Details

Language(s)

Persian. [1]

Population

75.6 milliion (U.N., 2012). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

At least 2,000.

Precise statistics on death row populations in Iran are difficult to obtain because the number of death sentences imposed and carried out are not published. [3] In 2012, an investigative journalist reported that there were at least 1,117 death-row inmates in Rajaishahr prison alone. [4] The actual figure is probably much higher. Amnesty International estimated that thousands were awaiting execution in 2012. [5]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2014 to date (last updated on October 24, 2014)

Between 504 and 665 at least.

Given the secrecy surrounding executions, exact numbers are difficult to obtain and different figures are provided by various organizations. According to the organization Iran Human Rights, 411 executions were carried out were carried out from the beginning of 2014 to the end of June. [6] An additional 93 executions have been reported since then. [7] This tally draws upon media reports citing a majority of official sources and reliable unofficial sources known to the organization.

Another organization, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, reported that as of October 22, 585 executions had taken place in 2014, 206 of which were announced by the government. [8] Yet another organization, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, reports 665 executions for 2014 as of October 24. [9]

The actual number of executions is likely to be higher, given the government’s underreporting of executions and the holding of secret executions.

Executions in 2013

Between 624 and 727 at least.

Given the secrecy surrounding executions, exact numbers are difficult to obtain and different figures are given by various organizations. According to the organization Iran Human Rights, at least 687 executions were carried out in 2013. This tally draws upon media reports citing a majority of official sources and reliable unofficial sources known to the organization. [10] Another organization, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, reported that 624 executions had taken place in 2013, 334 of which were announced by the government. [11] Yet another organization, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, reports 727 executions for 2013 as of January 8, 2014. [12] The actual number of executions is likely to be higher, given the government’s underreporting of executions and the holding of secret executions. For instance, in February 2013, Iran Human Rights reported that hundreds of secret executions had taken place in Vakilabad prison in eastern Iran over the previous 4 or 5 months, and that daily secret executions were taking place in another prison, Rajai Shahr Prison, west of Tehran. [13] In June 2013, Iran Human Rights reported an additional 14 secret executions in the Hormozgan prisons. [14]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

1 execution per 110,217 persons

Executions in 2012

It is difficult to determine the exact number of executions that are carried out in Iran. According to Amnesty International, at least 314 executions were carried out in 2012. [15] This is a very conservative estimate. According to the organization Iran Human Rights, at least 580 executions took place in Iran in 2012, about half of which were reported by official government sources. [16] The actual number of executions is likely to be even higher, given the government’s underreporting of executions and the holding of secret executions. [17]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

1 execution per 130,345 persons

Executions in 2011

676. According to the organization Iran Human Rights, there were 676 executions in Iran in 2011. [18] Amnesty International, which reports only executions that it is able to positively confirm, indicates that there were at least 360 executions in 2011. [19]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

1 execution per 111,834 persons

Executions in 2010

650. At least 650 individuals were executed in 2010, [20] and some estimate 751 or more executions. [21]

Executions in 2009

388. [22]

Executions in 2008

346. [23]

Executions in 2007

335. [24]

Year of Last Known Execution

2014. [25]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Iran Profile, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14542950, May 23, 2013.
[2] BBC, Country Profiles: Iran Profile, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14542950, May 23, 2013.
[3] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 8, Oct. 2013.
[4] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[5] Amnesty Intl. Iran Must Halt Execution of Web Programmer, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-must-halt-execution-web-programmer-2012-01-19, Jan. 19, 2012.
[6] Iran Human Rights, Iran: 411 Executions in the First Half of 2014, http://iranhr.net/2014/07/iran-411-executions-in-the-first-half-of-2014, Jul. 9, 2014.
[7] Iran Human Rights, Execution Archive, http://iranhr.net/category/execution, last accessed Oct. 24, 2014.
[8] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, IHRDC Chart of Executions by the Islamic Republic of Iran – 2014, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000425-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2014.html#.Ut7Ue2TnYy4, Oct. 22, 2014.
[9] Human Rights and Democracy for Iran (A project of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation), Reported executions 2014, http://www.iranrights.org, last accessed Oct. 24, 2014.
[10] Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, email to DPW, DPW Iran Doc. E-1, Mar. 27, 2014. Iran Human Rights, Execution Archive, http://iranhr.net/category/execution, last accessed Feb. 13, 2014.
[11] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, IHRDC Chart of Executions by the Islamic Republic of Iran – 2013, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000225-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2013.html#.UjxucWRUPJA, Jan. 3, 2013.
[12] Human Rights and Democracy for Iran (A project of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation), Reported executions 2013, http://www.iranrights.org, last accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
[13] Iran Human Rights, Secret Mass Executions Resume in Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison: Several Hundred Prisoners Possibly Executed In Past Four Months, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2707, Feb. 3, 2013. Iran Human Rights, New Reports: Daily Secret Executions in Rajai Shahr Prison, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2709, Feb. 4, 2013.
[14] Iran Human Rights, 200 Death Row Prisoners Waiting to be Executed in Hormozgan (Southern Iran)- 14 Unannounced Executions in Hormozgan Prisons, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2799, Jun. 19, 2013.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 9, 2013.
[16] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran 2012, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2740, Apr. 4, 2013.
[17] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran 2012, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article2740, Apr. 4, 2013.
[18] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2011, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Binder2.pdf, Mar. 1, 2012.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[20] United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights and Democracy: The 2010 Foreign and Commonwealth Office Report, p. 204, March 2011.
[21] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 7, Doc. ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[23] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, Doc. ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[24] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, Doc. ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[25] Iran Human Rights, Execution Archive, http://iranhr.net/category/execution, last accessed Aug. 22, 2014. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, IHRDC Chart of Executions by the Islamic Republic of Iran – 2013, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000225-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2013.html#.UjxucWRUPJA, Aug. 13, 2014. Human Rights and Democracy for Iran (A project of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation), Reported executions 2014, http://www.iranrights.org, last accessed Aug. 22, 2014.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Murder.
Premeditated murder in Iranian law carries the death penalty as a qisas offense. [1] However, there are several exceptions to this. If the offender is the father or paternal grandfather of the victim, he is exempt from the death penalty under Article 301 of the Islamic Penal Code (IPC). [2] If the offender killed someone who committed a huddud offense, he is exempt from the death penalty under Article 302 of the IPC. [3] If the offender killed a rapist, he is exempt under Article 302. [4] If the offender killed his adulterous wife, he is exempt under Article 302 of the IPC. [5] Followers of “recognized religions” who kill followers of “non-recognized religions” are also exempt from the death penalty. [6]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism resulting in death might be considered a qisas offense, claims of kin for blood or similar harm which may result in the death penalty. [7] Furthermore, under article 286 of the Islamic Penal Code, anybody who commits a crime on an extensive level against domestic security or external security has committed a crime under “corruption on earth” and can be sentenced to death. [8] Persons might also be death-eligible for terrorism-related activities under the Law for Punishment of Disruptors of the Oil Industry, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Water, Electricity and Telecommunication Facilities, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Flight Security, the Law for Punishment of Offences Concerning Railways, and the Law for Increase of Punishment for Arms Smuggling. [9]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Under article 287 of the Islamic Penal Code of 2013, anybody who commits a crime on an extensive level against domestic security or external security has committed a crime under “corruption on earth” and may be sentenced to death. [10] Persons might also be death-eligible for terrorism-related activities under the Law for Punishment of Disruptors of the Oil Industry, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Water, Electricity and Telecommunication Facilities, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Flight Security, the Law for Punishment of Offences Concerning Railways, and the Law for Increase of Punishment for Arms Smuggling. [11]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Under Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code, fornication by force or reluctance is punishable by death. [12]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery is a death-eligible offense under certain circumstances described under article 279 of the Islamic Penal Code. [13] In 2013, two men were sentenced to death for armed robbery and for “hurting the public’s feelings.” [14]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Reports indicate that kidnapping not resulting in death may be punishable by death, at least when attended by aggravating factors such as rape, extortion or other criminal offenses. [15] Hood & Hoyle also report that kidnapping is punishable by death in Iran. [16]

Burglary Not Resulting in Death.
Recidivist theft is punishable by death under the Islamic Penal Code. [17]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Producing drugs is punished by death upon the fourth instance. Smuggling or trafficking more than five kilos of drugs is punished by death, and storing drugs for the purpose of transportation is treated as trafficking. Trafficking heroin, morphine, cocaine or derivatives is treated more seriously than is trafficking in other drugs, with a 30 gram threshold for death-eligibility. Armed drug trafficking or smuggling is punished by death, as is trafficking or smuggling drugs in prisons, rehabilitation centers or military facilities. Trafficking over 5 kg of opium and opium derivatives can be punishable by death. [18] Trafficking over 100 grams of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine is punishable by death. [19] Trafficking over 30 grams of the same drugs is punishable by death upon the second conviction of trafficking. [20]

Drug Possession.
Drug addiction is a crime in Iran, although prosecution is delayed during treatment and rehabilitation. [21] Possession of large quantities of drugs is punished by death; however, possession is figured cumulatively for recidivist offenders, who are punished by death as corruptors on earth for even small cumulative totals—anything more than 30 grams of certain drugs. [22] Reports indicate that the death penalty might not always be applied in cases involving possession by addicts. [23]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
Although the penal code states that tazir punishments should be less than hadd punishments, the death penalty can be awarded for a tazir crime under some circumstances. The death penalty is applied as tazir for some economic crimes on the grounds that these offenses rise to the level of “corruption on earth” (moharebeh or isfad-e fil arz or both). [24] Under the Law for Punishment of Disruptors of the National Economic System of 1990, offenses such as counterfeiting, smuggling, speculating, or disrupting production are punishable by death. Other smuggling is punishable by death under the Law for Increase of Punishment for Arms Smuggling. [25] Hood & Hoyle report that bribery or corruption of officials is also punishable by death. [26]

Adultery.
Adultery by married persons is punished by death; fornication by unmarried persons is punished by death upon the fourth instance. [27]

Apostasy.
Apostasy, witchcraft and heresy are not explicitly mentioned in the current criminal code. [28] Article 26 of Press Code of 1985 treats certain press offenses as apostasy. [29] Apostasy is also punishable by death under shariah, which is enforceable by domestic courts. [30]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Homosexual sodomy carries the death penalty for the passive party under Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code. [31] The active party can only be punished by death if he is married and forced the sexual act. [32] A non-Muslim active party in homosexual sodomy is also subject to the death penalty under Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code. [33] Lesbianism is punishable by death if the offender is sentenced and received a lashing on three previous occasions for the same crime. [34]

Treason.
Under the Islamic Penal Code of 2013, anyone who stages an armed uprising against the Islamic Republic of Iran shall be sentenced to death. [35]

Espionage.
Under the Armed Forces Offenses Act of 2003, civilians may be executed for spying. [36]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Under the Armed Forces Offenses Law of 2003, a number of military offenses undermining the security of the state, or in dereliction of duty, or of cowardice, or of assisting the enemy, may be punishable by death. [37]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Prohibited sexual relations. Incestuous relations are punished by death. [38] In addition, non-Muslim males who have extramarital sexual relations with Muslim women and men who fornicate with their step-mother will be subject to the death penalty. [39] A non-Muslim active party in homosexual sodomy is also subject to the death penalty under Article 224 of the amended Islamic Penal Code. [40]

- Fornication. The offense of zina (consensual or non-consensual illicit heterosexual vaginal or anal sex) is broader than adultery. Fornication is punishable by death upon multiple recidivism as a huddud offense. [41]

- Recidivist false accusation of capital sexual offenses. Article 121 of the Islamic Penal Code provides that recidivist false accusers of capital sexual offense shall be subject to the death penalty. [42]

- Other offenses against sexual mores. Offenses such as publishing pornography or using pornographic materials to solicit sex are punishable by death under Articles 3 and 4 of the Law for the Punishment of Persons with Unauthorized Activities in Audio-Visual Operations of 2008. [43]

- Political crimes. Under article 286 and 287 of the Islamic Penal Code, political dissent can be punished by death as “rebellion” and “corruption on earth.” [44]

- Recidivist consumption of alcoholic beverages. Under article 179 of the Islamic Penal Code drinking is punishable by death upon multiple recidivism. [45]

- Producing or preparing food, drink, cosmetics or sanitary items that lead to death when consumed or used. [46]

- Blasphemy. The Press Code of 1985 prescribes the death penalty for blasphemy against the Prophet. [47]

Comments.
An amended Islamic Penal Code (IPC) was passed in April 2013 and will be enforceable for a trial period of five years. [48] The 2013 Islamic Penal Code hasn't changed how the death penalty is applied significantly. It retained the death penalty for most of the crimes that were punishable by death under the old code, and has possibly expanded the number of crimes that are punishable by death. [49] The IPC has expanded the definitions and categories of national security crimes, including such crimes like – “sowing corruption” and “armed rebellion.” [50] Just as in the previous Penal Code, the current IPC states that the death penalty can be imposed for huddud crimes and cases where the judge determines that shariah has been violated, in addition to crimes specifically punishable by death in the IPC. [51] Furthermore, when the law is silent as to sentencing, the amended IPC states that judges should refer to shariah law for guidance. [52] Capital offenses are categorized into three classes of crime in the Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran: qisas, huddud, and tazir

Qisas: literally means “retaliation.” Offenses carrying qisas penalties (claims of kin for blood or similar harm), such as murder, carry mandatory penalties from which only kin of the victim can release the offender. On occasion, families of the victim carry out the execution as part of the penalty. [53]

Hadd (plural:huddud): is a crime under shariah law. Sex crimes, crimes against the state and religion, and recidivism are considered huddud offenses.

Tazir: are crimes whose punishments are not specified by shariah law but are nevertheless prohibited by shariah law.

Iran’s current penal code was not available for our research. The Iranian Human Rights Documentation Centre has provided a translation of the Penal Code that incorporates all amendments to the Code up to January 2012, it is available online at: http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/human-rights-documents/iranian-codes/3200-islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-one-and-book-two.html#27.

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. [54] Offenses carrying qisas penalties (claims of kin for blood or similar harm), such as murder, carry mandatory penalties as claims from which only kin of the victim can release the offender. The possibility of reduction lies with payment of diyat—blood money—to the victim’s kin, and neither the discretion of courts nor the pardon of the executive is permitted. When an offender is convicted of a qisas crime, the death penalty is mandatory because there is no judicial discretion to mete out a lesser sentence. On occasion, families of the victim carry out the execution as part of the penalty. [55]

Offenses carrying huddud penalties (claims of God), such as adultery or blasphemy, carry mandatory penalties as claims from which only God can release the offender. Thus, the possibility of reduction lies neither with courts nor any affected individual (such as a spouse in the case of adultery) but instead with the Supreme Leader upon the advice of a judge—and there only in very limited cases. We therefore consider that this is a non-discretionary, mandatory penalty. Repeat offenders are sentenced to death on the fourth occasion that they are convicted of a hadd offense that does not otherwise call for the death penalty. [56]

Offenses punishable under tazir, such as drug offenses, are punishable by death but need not carry the mandatory death penalty, so a mandatory death penalty in these cases should arise from statutory language that leaves no room for judicial discretion in sentencing. [57] The mandatory nature of the death penalty for tazir crimes could also be indicated by guidelines of the Amnesty and Pardon Commission of the Judiciary ruling that leniency is prohibited, which suggests that the penalty is also mandatory at sentencing. [58]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Murder.
The sentence for murder is a mandatory death sentence, which as qisas may only be foregone upon acceptance of payment by the victim’s kin. [59]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery carries the mandatory death penalty as a hadd offense under certain circumstances described under article 279. [60] .

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Rape is punished by death where the offender it not married to the victim. [61]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery may carry the mandatory death penalty as a hadd offense. The death sentence is mandatory upon the fourth occasion of a theft conviction. [62]

Burglary Not Resulting in Death.
Recidivist theft is punished by death. [63]

Treason.
Individuals can be prosecuted for treason under “rebellion” or “corruption on earth” laws. [64] Crimes that are considered huddud carry the mandatory death penalty upon multiple recidivism. [65]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Statutory language indicates that the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking offenses such as producing, trafficking, smuggling, storing or carrying drugs upon recidivism or if the offense involves more than 5 kilos or 30 grams of drugs, depending on the drug. [66] Trafficking over 5 kg of opium and opium derivatives is punishable by death, unless it was the first time the perpetrator was convicted of the crime and he failed to distribute or sell the drugs. [67] Trafficking over 100 grams of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine is punishable by death. [68] Trafficking over 30 grams of the same drugs is punishable by death upon the second conviction of trafficking. [69] Furthermore, judicially promulgated guidelines indicate that the judiciary treats professional drug trafficking as requiring the death penalty. Drug traffickers can be punished as “corrupt on earth,” which is a hadd penalty—although this could actually be the application of a hadd penalty for an offense punishable as tazir. [70]

Drug Possession.
It is possible, but not likely, that mere possession carries the mandatory death penalty. Statutory language indicates that the death penalty is mandatory for possession of large quantities of drugs. Language indicates that past offenses are totaled for multiple recidivism, a cumulative total of 30 grams of drugs mandating the death penalty. [71]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
Economic crimes are tazir offenses, and do not always result in the death penalty. Economic crimes are assigned the death penalty if they rise to the level “corruption on earth” which is a hadd offense. [72]

Apostasy.
Apostasy is also punishable by death under shariah, which is enforceable by domestic courts. [73] The related (but not identical) offense of “cursing the prophet” explicitly carries the mandatory death penalty under the codified law. [74]

Adultery.
Sexual offenses involving penetration are punished by huddud penalties. [75]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Sexual offenses involving penetration are punished by huddud penalties. Some consensual sex acts, such as lesbianism, are considered a hadd offense and are only punishable upon recidivism. [76]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism resulting in death might be considered a qisas crime. [77] Furthermore, under article 286 of the Islamic Penal Code , anybody who commits a crime on an extensive level against domestic security or external security has committed a crime under “corruption on earth” which is a hadd offense. [78] Such crimes may carry a mandatory death penalty upon recidivism. [79]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Alternative sentences may be possible for terrorism related offenses not resulting in death, but acts of terrorism can still be considered a crime under “corruption on earth” and can be punishable by mandatory death upon recidivism where the death penalty is not otherwise specified. [80]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
- Fornication. Recidivist fornication is considered a huddud offense and is punished by death on the fourth instance. [81] Trials and executions for fornication may be perfunctory and swift. [82]

- Prohibited sexual relations. Incestuous relations and fornication or adultery by non-Muslim males with Muslim women carries a mandatory death penalty. [83]

- Other Crimes against sexual mores. Under the Articles 3 and 4 of the Law for the Punishment of Persons with Unauthorized Activities in Audio-Visual Operations of 2008, offenses such as publishing pornography or using pornographic materials to solicit sex carry the punishment for “corruption on earth” or rape, so these offenses might carry the mandatory death penalty upon recidivism. [84]

- Drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol is a huddud offense which upon multiple recidivism may carry the mandatory death penalty. [85]

Comments.
Additional offenses in any of the 3 categories of criminal liability (qisas, huddud, or tazirat) may carry the mandatory death penalty, but we found no specific reason to list any additional offenses.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Murder.
In 2012, 3% of executions were for murder. [86]

In 2011, 7% of executions were for murder. [87]

In 2010, 6% of executions were for murder. [88]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
In 2012, 5% of executions were for moharebeh offenses, although this offense can include simple political dissidence. [89]

In 2011, 4% of executions were for moharabeh offenses, although this offense can include simple political dissidence. [90]

In 2010, 13% of executions were for moharebeh, although this offense can include simple political dissidence. [91]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
In 2012, 5% of executions were for moharebeh offenses, although this offense can include simple political dissidence. Membership in armed groups was the grounds for some executions. [92]

In 2011, 4% of executions were for moharabeh offenses, although this offense can include simple political dissidence. [93]

In 2010, 13% of executions were for moharebeh, although this offense can include simple political dissidence. [94]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Some of these offenses may have resulted in death, but we could not ascertain the facts of these cases. There is no legal requirement that the offense cause death in order to be punished by death.

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
In 2011, 1% of executions were for kidnapping. [95]

In 2010, 1% of executions were for kidnapping. [96]

We were unable to locate information for other years.

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
In 2012, 8% of executions were for rape. [97]

In 2011, 13% of official execution were for rape. [98]

In 2010, 9% of executions were for rape. [99]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
In 2012, 3% of executions were for robbery. [100]

In 2011, 1% of executions were for armed robbery. [101]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
In 2012, 76% of executions were for drug offenses. [102]

In 2011, 71% of official executions were for drug offenses. [103]

In 2010, 66% of executions were for drug offenses. [104]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Drug Possession.
In 2012, 76% of executions were for drug offenses. [105]

In 2011, 71% of official executions were for drug offenses. [106]

In 2010, 66% of executions were for drug offenses. [107]

We were unable to locate information for prior years.

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
In 2008, an airport customs contractor was executed for taking bribes. He was charged with “bureaucratic corruption, economic crimes, interference in the economic system and other crimes.” [108]

Adultery.
In 2010, 1% of executions were for “immoral acts.” [109] Some executions since January 2008 have been by stoning. [110]

We were unable to locate information for other years.

Apostasy.
In January 2011, one man was executed for apostasy for “claiming to have contact with God and the 12th Shiite Imam.” [111]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Individuals have been executed for homosexual acts in recent years. [112] Iranian authorities acknowledge executing individuals for unspecified crimes related to sexual mores. [113] In 2010, 1% of executions were for “immoral acts.” [114] Note that 9% of executions in 2010 were for rape, [115] and in the past human rights groups have expressed suspicion that Iran uses rape charges as a “smokescreen to justify killing homosexuals.” [116]

Espionage. [117]

Comments.

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Executing juveniles continues to be legal in Iran. [118] Article 91 of the Islamic Penal Code permits the execution of juveniles if judges deem that the juvenile is mature enough to understand the nature of the offense. [119] Iran continues to execute individuals for offenses committed while under the age of 18, despite the fact that the former head of the judiciary issued circulars in 2003 and 2008 requesting that judges not issue execution verdicts for children under eighteen. [120] Iran has executed the most juveniles of any country since 1990, with 47 executions confirmed by Amnesty. [121]

Pregnant Women.
Under Article 6 of the Iranian Penal Code, a woman cannot be executed while pregnant. [122]

Mentally Ill.
Under the Islamic Penal Code, individuals who are insane at the time of an offense may be excluded from criminal liability—this was true under Section 51 of the 1991 Penal Code [123] . Individuals who become insane after being sentenced to death can be executed while insane; the law does not exclude them from execution. [124] In practice, the very limited exclusion for people who are insane at the time of their offense is “extremely narrowly defined or applied in a restrictive and discriminatory manner.” [125]

References

[1] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1-3, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 5, Oct. 2013.
[2] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 301, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 6, Oct. 2013.
[3] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 302, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[4] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 302, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[5] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 302, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[6] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 310, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[7] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 12-15, Apr. 28, 2009 (discussing murder and indicating one instance in which killings similar to terror killings have been treated as turning on the victims’ families’ rights of qisas). Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1-3, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[8] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[9] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[10] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[11] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[12] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[13] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[14] Iran Human Rights, Rushed Death Citizens for Tehran Robbery Suspects, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/01/thugs/, last accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
[15] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p. 8, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013. Reuters, Iran Hangs Man Accused in Kidnapping of Belgians, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49b68d2523.html, Mar. 9, 2009.
[16] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 143, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2008.
[17] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 279, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013
[18] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[19] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8,1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[20] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[21] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, art. 15, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[22] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 5, 9, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[23] Nazila Fathi, Iran Fights Scourge of Addiction in Plain View, Stressing Treatment, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/world/middleeast/27addiction.html, Jun. 27, 2008.
[24] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[25] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[26] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 139 fn. 40, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed. 2008.
[27] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 22, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[28] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[29] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[30] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 167, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[31] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[32] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[33] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[34] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[35] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[36] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 13, Apr. 28, 2009.
[37] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 13-14, Apr. 28, 2009; U.N.G.A., 68th Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, p. 9-10, A/68/503, Oct. 4, 2013.
[38] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[39] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[40] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. U.N.G.A., 68th Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, pp. 9-10, A/68/503, Oct. 4, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[41] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 5, Oct. 2013.
[42] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 121, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 4, Oct. 2013.
[43] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 12, Apr. 28, 2009.
[44] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 287, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[45] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 179, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. U.N.G.A., 68th Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, pp. 9-10, A/68/503, Oct. 4, 2013.
[46] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[47] Press Code of 1985, art. 6,2, Mar. 19, 1986, as amended on Apr. 18, 2000. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 14, Apr. 28, 2009.
[48] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[49] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[50] UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, October 2013 report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://shaheedoniran.org/english/dr-shaheeds-work/latest-reports/october-2013-report-of-the-special-rapporteur-on-the-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2/#sect3c, Oct. 22, 2013.
[51] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[52] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 220, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013.
[53] Iran Human Rights, Iran Judiciary: Family of the Victim Carried Out Execution of Behnoud Shojaee, http://iranhr.net/2009/10/iranian-judiciary-family-of-the-victim-carried-out-execution-of-behnoud-shojaee/, Oct. 11, 2009. Reuters, Victim's Parents Help With Iran Execution: Report, http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/10/11/us-iran-execution-idUSTRE59A10O20091011, Oct. 11, 2009.
[54] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[55] Iran Human Rights, Iran Judiciary: Family of the Victim Carried Out Execution of Behnoud Shojaee, http://iranhr.net/2009/10/iranian-judiciary-family-of-the-victim-carried-out-execution-of-behnoud-shojaee/, Oct. 11, 2009. Reuters, Victim's Parents Help With Iran Execution: Report, http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/10/11/us-iran-execution-idUSTRE59A10O20091011, Oct. 11, 2009.
[56] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[57] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf, Sep. 2009. U.N. ESC, Commission on Human Rights, Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Torture and Detention, p. 7-8, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2004/Add.2, Jun. 27, 2003. U.N.G.A., 63d Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, p. 9, A/63/459, Oct. 1, 2008.
[58] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 40-41 fn. 133, Apr. 28, 2009.
[59] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[60] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 279, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[61] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013 Human Rights Watch, Codifying Repression – An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code, p. 25, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/iran0812webwcover_0.pdf, Aug. 2012.
[62] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[63] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[64] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Human Rights Watch, Codifying Repression – An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code, p. 42, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/iran0812webwcover_0.pdf, Aug. 2012
[65] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 136, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[66] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[67] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[68] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8,1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[69] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[70] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 40-41 fn. 133, Apr. 28, 2009.
[71] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 5, 9, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[72] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 8, Oct. 2013.
[73] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 167, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[74] Human Rights Watch, Codifying Repression – An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code, p. 32, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/iran0812webwcover_0.pdf, Aug. 2012.
[75] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 225, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Human Rights Watch, Codifying Repression – An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code, p. 25, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/iran0812webwcover_0.pdf, Aug. 2012.
[76] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 136, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[77] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 14-15, Apr. 28, 2009 (discussing murder and indicating one instance in which killings similar to terror killings have been treated as turning on the victims’ families’ rights of qisas).
[78] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 6, Oct. 2013.
[79] Human Rights Watch, Codifying Repression – An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code, p. 25, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/iran0812webwcover_0.pdf, Aug. 2012.
[80] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[81] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 136, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[82] Kimia Sanati, Death Penalty: No One Too Young in Iran, IPS, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34930, Sep. 28, 2006.
[83] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[84] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 3-4, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[85] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 12, Apr. 28, 2009.
[86] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[87] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[88] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[89] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[90] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[91] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[92] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[93] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[94] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[95] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[96] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[97] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[98] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[99] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[100] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p. 6, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, IHRDC Chart of Executions by the Islamic Republic of Iran – 2013, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000225-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2013.html#.Uvp6n3n1iCZ, last accessed Feb. 11, 2014.
[101] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[102] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p. 6, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[103] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[104] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[105] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p. 6, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[106] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran- At Least 676 Executions in 2011, http://iranhr.net/2012/03/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-at-least-676-executions-in-2011/, Mar. 4, 2012.
[107] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[108] Nazila Fathi, Iran Executes Bribery Convict, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/world/middleeast/30iran.html, Jan. 30, 2008.
[109] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[110] Iran Human Rights, Report: Stoning in Iran, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1812, Aug. 21, 2010.
[111] Death Penalty News, Man Hanged in Iran for “Apostasy,” http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com/2011/01/man-hanged-in-iran-for-apostasy.html, Jan. 31, 2011.
[112] BBC, Iran Executes Three Men on Homosexuality Charges, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/07/iran-executes-men-homosexuality-charges, Sep. 7, 2011.
[113] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2009, Information Provided by Authorities, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1616, Mar. 9, 2010; Iran Human Rights, At Least 350 Executions in 2008 in Iran, Information Provided by Authorities, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article958, Feb. 24, 2009.
[114] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[115] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[116] The Sunday Times, Public Execution for the Teenagers Convicted of Rape, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article546754.ece, Jul. 22, 2005.
[117] Sky Channel 517, Iran Executes Alleged Israeli Spy, http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Iran-Executes-Ali-Ashtari-Businessman-Accused-Of-Spying-For-Israels-Mossad-Security-Service/Article/200811415159108, Nov. 22, 2008.
[118] Thomas Erdbrink, Mercy and Social Media Slow the Noose in Iran, NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/world/middleeast/mercy-and-social-media-slow-the-noose-in-iran.html?_r=0, Mar. 8, 2014
[119] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 210, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013, Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 7, Oct. 2013.
[120] Iran Human Rights, Half-Measures: Juvenile Execution Under Iran’s New Penal Code, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2012/02/new-penal-code-commentary/, Feb. 27, 2012.
[121] Amnesty Intl., Executions of Juveniles since 1990, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/executions-of-child-offenders-since-1990, last accessed February 9, 2014.
[122] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 6, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, The Execution of Women in Iranian Criminal Law: an Examination of the Impact of Gender on Laws Concerning Capital Punishment in the New Islamic Penal Code, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/legal-commentary/1000000102-the-execution-of-women-in-iranian-criminal-law.html#.UubMO3l6ho4.
[123] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Penal Code of Iran, art. 51, July 30, 1991.
[124] Islamic Penal Code of Iran 1986, translation: Dr. Sayyid Ali Raza Naqvi, 1986.
[125] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, p. 2, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf, Sep. 2009.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Signed?

Yes. [2]

Date of Signature

Apr. 4, 1968. [3]

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

No. [4]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [5]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [6]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [7]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [8]

Vote

Against. [9]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [10]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [11]

Vote

Against. [12]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [13]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [14]

Vote

Against. [15]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [16]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [17]

Vote

Against. [18]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [19]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 9, 2014.
[8] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[9] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[10] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[11] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[12] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[13] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[14] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[15] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, p. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[16] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[17] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 3-4, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[18] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, p. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[19] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

The Constitution provides that the “life…of the individual [is] inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law,” [1] and provides that sentencing and punishment are the exclusive province of the courts and must be in accordance with law. [2]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

The Constitution of Iran makes no reference to international human rights law. Its Preamble notes that Iran’s version of Islamic law and culture, not international norms, will define the rights of certain individuals, and in general will determine law in Iran to the exclusion of any other consideration. [3] The Constitution also states that Iran’s foreign policy “is based upon the rejection of all forms of domination.” [4]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Despite the change in leadership in Iran in August 2013, there have not been any significant changes as far as the application of the death penalty is concerned. [5]

While court rulings have prohibited public executions and stoning, in practice public executions regularly occur, and the moratorium on stoning has not been respected. [6] Nineteen individuals were publically executed in 2010. [7] There were 60 public executions in 2012 [8] and at least 63 public executions in 2013. [9] The government continues to press for the execution of stoning sentences. [10]

Despite former President Ahmadinejad’s posturing that juveniles cannot be executed in Iran, [11] persons are regularly executed for crimes committed while juveniles (five may have been executed in 2013 [12] , seven were executed in 2011, two were executed in 2010, [13] and five in 2009 [14] ). It appears that changes to the law regarding juvenile executions have been interpreted to simply delay execution until the individual reaches majority. [15]

Amendments that were passed and adopted in 2013 do not significantly alter the ambit of the death penalty. The IPC retains the death penalty for most of the crimes that were punishable by death under the previous version of the Islamic Penal Code, and has possibly expanded the number of crimes that are punishable by death. [16] The IPC has expanded the definitions and categories of national security crimes, including such crimes like – “sowing corruption” and “armed rebellion.” [17] Over the past few decades Iran has consistently convicted and executed people for a wide range of criminal offenses, including non-violent offenses and actions typically held not to be offenses in most parts of the world. Iranian judges mete out death sentences even when the criminal law does not state that the death penalty applies for the crime. [18]

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center reports that Iran continued to execute individuals at a very high rate in 2013, with 334 executions announced by the government and another 290 unannounced executions (for a total of 624). [19] The rate of executions continued to increase into the first months of 2014, with 36 confirmed executions and 66 unofficial executions by February 7, 2014. [20] Furthermore, Iran began secretly executing large groups of people, after temporarily halting the practice in 2011 due to international criticism. The number of people executed in one occasion has been as high as 50. [21]

Political prisoners continue to be executed for their roles in the post-election demonstrations in 2009. [22] Iran characterizes political dissent as a crime under “corruption on earth” and “rebellion” and executes political dissidents. [23] Other charges against dissidents may also be motivated by political grounds, [24] so the true number of people who are prosecuted and killed for political reasons may be difficult to ascertain.

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. [25]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

Reports indicate that the head of the Iranian judiciary recently issued a moratorium on stoning and public executions but that this moratorium has not been respected. [26]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

There are a number of online legal resources in Farsi:

- Official Gazette: All laws, administrative regulations, the Supreme Court’s decisions and the Administrative Court’s decisions are published in the Iranian Official Gazette in hard copy and are available online in Farsi only at: http://www.rooznamehrasmi.ir.

- The Parliament has an online database of all laws, administrative regulations, the Supreme Court’s decisions and the Administrative Court’s decisions issued since it was established (partly translated into English): http://rc.majlis.ir/fa.

- The Administrative Court provides a database of all its authoritative decisions in Farsi only at: http://www.divan-edalat.ir/show.php?page=aho.

- The Iranian Central Bar Association also has an online database for doing a legal research in Farsi only: http://icbar.ir/Default.aspx?tabid=113.

What is the clemency process?

The executive clemency process is non-existent for qisas cases—in murder cases, only the victim’s family can pardon the offender, generally after a payment of diyat (blood money). [27] Reportedly, under Iran’s legal system there is a very limited possibility of clemency for huddud penalties. The only mitigating factor is repentance, and a court might commute a death sentence if the offender repents, or recommend commutation to the Leader. In almost all circumstances, a huddud penalty cannot be altered. [28] Sentences imposed for tazirat crimes are, in theory, commutable, [29] and offenders facing tazirat penalties can probably be pardoned or have their sentences commuted by the head of state upon recommendation of the head of the judiciary unless the “right of the people has been violated.” [30] .

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No. [31]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Individuals may appeal sentences of death. [32] The Supreme Court has review authority over some cases, including appeals of the death penalty. [33] In general, individuals may appeal death sentences to the courts of appeal, but the courts of appeal may not exercise meaningful review, particularly in cases involving capital sentences for political dissidence. [34] The Supreme Court has overturned capital convictions in at least some cases that lacked evidence to support a murder conviction. [35]

Iran’s government has stated before the UN: “Anyone sentenced to death has the right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction, including the Supreme Court. According to article 473 of the Penal Procedure Law, the verdicts of penal courts are enforced in the following cases: (a) If no protest or appeal has been made within the legal time limit (the time limit is 30 days from the date of issuance of the court verdict); (b) If the verdict is confirmed by the Supreme Court; (c) In those cases where the request for appeal has been rejected or the appeal has been rejected in a final judgement [sic].” [36]

Despite this official statement, there is no right of appeal from decisions of the Revolutionary Courts, [37] which hear most death penalty cases and adjudicate drug trafficking cases [38] --which accounted for 76% of executions in 2012. [39] Furthermore, the Anti-Narcotics Law stipulates that individuals sentenced to death for drug crimes do not have the right to appeal. [40] Advocates report that defendants have been executed while their appeals were under review. [41]

References

[1] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 22, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[2] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 36, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[3] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Preamble, art. 170, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[4] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 152, 1979, ICL, as amended in 1989.
[5] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy, http://www.fidh.org/en/asia/iran/death-penalty-in-iran-a-state-terror-policy-14075, Oct. 11, 2013.
[6] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran-2012, 11, http://iranhr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FINAL-Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-HD.pdf, Apr. 4, 2013.
[7] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran in 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[8] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran-2012, 11, http://iranhr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/FINAL-Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-HD.pdf, Apr. 4, 2013.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Annual Report 2013- Iran, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/iran/report-2013, last accessed Feb. 10, 2014.
[10] Iran Human Rights, Report: Stoning in Iran, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1812, Aug. 21, 2010.
[11] The New York Times, An Interview With President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/world/middleeast/26iran-transcript.html, Sep. 26, 2008.
[12] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[13] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[14] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 27-31, Apr. 28, 2009; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, Special Edition for the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, p. 3, Mar. 16, 2010.
[15] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 27-31, Apr. 28, 2009. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, Special Edition for the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, p. 3, Mar. 16, 2010.
[16] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 4, Oct. 2013.
[17] UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, October 2013 report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://shaheedoniran.org/english/dr-shaheeds-work/latest-reports/october-2013-report-of-the-special-rapporteur-on-the-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2/#sect3c, Oct. 22, 2013.
[18] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf, Sep. 2009. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, generally, Apr. 28, 2009.
[19] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Infographic of the number of executions in Iran in 2013, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000424-infographic-of-the-number-of-executions-in-iran-in-2013.html#.UvlXjXn1iCY, last accessed February 10, 2013.
[20] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, IHRDC Chart of Executions by the Islamic Republic of Iran – 2014, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000425-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2014.html#.UvlYU3n1iCY, Feb. 7, 2014.
[21] Iran Human Rights, Secret Mass Executions Resume in Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison: Several Hundred Prisoners Possibly Executed In Past Four Months, http://iranhr.net/2013/02/secret-mass-executions-resume-in-mashhads-vakilabad-prison-several-hundred-prisoners-possibly-executed-in-past-four-months/, Feb. 3, 2013.
[22] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran in 2010, http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1984, Feb. 11, 2011.
[23] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 9, Oct. 2013.
[24] Human Rights Watch, Iran: Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi and Rights Groups Demand Moratorium on Executions, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/02/16/iran-nobel-laureate-shirin-ebadi-and-rights-groups-demand-moratorium-executions, Feb. 16, 2011.
[25] Amnesty Intl., Iran Hangs 40 People in Two Weeks Amid Surge in Executions, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-hangs-40-people-two-weeks-amid-surge-executions-2014-01-16, Jan. 16, 2014.
[26] Iran Human Rights, Half-Measures: Juvenile Execution Under Iran’s New Penal Code, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2012/02/new-penal-code-commentary/, Feb. 27, 2012.
[27] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1-3, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, pp. 10-16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[28] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1, 3-4, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[29] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1, 4-5, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[30] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 110(11), 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989... Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 3-4, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[31] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[32] Iran Criminal Code of Procedure for Public and Revolutionary Courts, Art. 223, 1999.
[33] Iran Criminal Code of Procedure for Public and Revolutionary Courts, Art. 223, 1999.
[34] International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Iran: Two More Baseless Death Sentences Rubber Stamped by Appeals Court, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/04/more-death-sentences/, Apr. 30, 2010.
[35] Amnesty International, Iran: The Last Executioner of Children, p. 27-28, MDE 13/059/2007, Jun. 27, 2007.
[36] U.N. ESC, Commission on Human Rights, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Status of the International Covenants on Human Rights, p. 2-3, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1999/52/Add.1, Mar. 4, 1999.
[37] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 251, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2008.
[38] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 24-26, Apr. 28, 2009.
[39] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p.6, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[40] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, art. 32 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[41] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Arrest Procedures and Treatment While In Detention, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Reports indicate that death-sentenced prisoners are incarcerated at a variety of locations. [1] Political prisoners on death row are often held at Evin prison in Tehran. [2]

Description of Prison Conditions

Prisons are poor and overcrowded; prisoners are denied food and medical care and exposed to the elements as a method of torture and of extracting information. [3] Political prisoners (who may be sentenced to death [4] ) are held with violent felons, and juveniles are detained with adult offenders. [5] In Evin, where some death row inmates are held (including death-sentenced juveniles), [6] conditions are particularly poor. The prison lacks sleeping space, with each prisoner given less than one square meter. Reports indicate that prisoners in Evin may sleep on the cold ground and become susceptible to illness. [7] Other prisons throughout Iran are also characterized by cramped and unhygienic conditions. [8] One report described prisons as being infested with flies and nauseous odors from a broken sewage system. [9]

Sources report (at a variety of locations) extreme physical abuse and denial of visitation, communication and access to attorneys. [10] These conditions likely affect death-sentenced prisoners as well as pre-trial detainees, [11] who may face capital charges. There have been reports that authorities at Rajaishashr prison installed electronic jamming antennas in prisons, which cause severe headaches and nausea. These conditions are exacerbated by the fact that the prison denies inmates adequate medical care. [12] Political prisoners (who may be sentenced to death) [13] are held with violent felons, and juveniles are detained with adult offenders. [14]

Sources state that female prisoners, in the past, were subject to custodial rape, including rape immediately prior to execution. [15] A number of reports in the 1990s corroborated this allegation. [16] Current reports indicate that custodial rape, both opportunistic and applied as a form of torture, is a serious problem. [17]

Death row inmates are often not told when they are to be executed until a day before the date. [18] Likewise, their lawyers are not given advance notice of the inmates’ executions. [19]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

Yes. [20]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

Reports indicate that Kurds (likely Iraqis) and Afghanis are held on death row in Iran, and it is likely that individuals from other neighboring nations are held under sentence of death in Iran. [21] An Afghan parliamentary delegation reported that there were 2,000 Afghans on death row in Iran in March 2013. [22]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

Women are executed with regularity in Iran. [23] Women face uninviting circumstances when accused of sex crimes, and may choose not to legally defend themselves, because after a legal acquittal their male relatives may still either murder them (this would be treated as an honor killing and punished lightly, if at all) or require their suicide. [24]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

Yes. Iran is the world’s top child executioner, [25] and reports indicate that dozens of individuals are on death row for crimes committed as juveniles. In late 2012, Human Rights Watch reported that there were more than 100 juvenile offenders on death row. [26] Recent reports indicate that five individuals were executed in 2013 for crimes committed before the age of 18. [27]

Death sentences and executions of juveniles include:
- A death sentence against an individual, who “was sentenced to death for carrying and supplying heroin, apparently when he was 12.” [28]

- A death sentence against a boy (17) “accused of killing his abusive and alcoholic father. According to the report at the time of alleged murder, Mehyar's father was beating up his mother. Mehyar reportedly suffered from temporary insanity at the time. Mehyar's mother was jointly accused of murder of her husband. Mehyar Haghgoo's death sentence has been confirmed by a court in the city of Rasht.” [29]

-The execution of a 17 year old boy who accidentally killed a popular athlete in a fight. The teenager claimed his actions were in self-defense, and reportedly cried and begged for forgiveness before being executed. [30]

-The execution of a young man who was only 17 when he committed his crime – murder of an elderly woman during a robbery. [31]

- An execution of a sexually abused girl. “In 2004, Atefeh Sahaaleh Rajabi was hastily tried and hanged in Neka in northern Iran. Her case drew international attention because she had no access to legal counsel. Although court documents said she had been 22 at the time of her hanging, her birth certificate and her father's identity information later proved she was only 16. Sahaaleh was found guilty by the state of having unlawful sex four times. Human rights activists, however, say the girl suffered psychological problems and was repeatedly raped by a 51-year-old man, according to an Amnesty International report and a BBC documentary. She was hanged. He was sentenced to 100 lashes.”

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

There is considerable reason to believe that the death penalty is used as a tool to stifle political dissent, especially against ethnic minorities. [32] Perfunctory convictions after unfair trails of ethnic minority individuals (such as Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis) facing capital charges are a serious problem, and tribal minority individuals may be charged, tried and executed without understanding the charges brought against them. Conviction and execution may at times be based on little more than minority religious or ethnic status or dissident viewpoint. [33] Afghan migrants are often sentenced to death for drug-related crimes. An Afghan parliamentary delegation reported that 2,000 Afghans were on death row in 2013. [34]

The government often charges ethnic minorities with “enmity against God,” a vague charge used to repress dissent. [35] Sunni Muslims and Christians of different national backgrounds are convicted of “moharebeh” for their proselytizing activities. Reports indicate that many face death sentences without ever having gone to trial. [36]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Under Iranian law, all defendants facing the death penalty must be represented by a lawyer. [37] The government provides legal aid to those who cannot afford a lawyer. [38] However, lawyers are only available at the trial stage, and defendants have no access to legal representation during arrest, charging, investigations or interrogations. Defendants charged with crimes against the state or Moharebeh cannot meet with their lawyers in private, even at the trial stage. [39]

In practice, some defendants facing capital punishment are reportedly denied access to lawyers. [40]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Under Iranian law, all defendants facing the death penalty must be represented by a lawyer at trial and at the appeals stage. [41] The government provides legal aid to those who cannot afford a lawyer. [42]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

State-provided legal aid does not cover pre-trial proceedings. Lawyers are are only available at the trial stage, and defendants have no access to legal representation during arrest, charging, investigations or interrogations. [43] Defendants are also not permitted access to prosecution evidence and cannot confront their accusers, [44] diminishing the capacity of counsel to competently defend clients.

Defense lawyers representing clients charged with crimes against the state, Moharebeh or armed robbery face additional obstacles within the legal system and pressure from public opinion. [45] Defendants charged with crimes against the state or Moharebeh cannot meet with their lawyers in private, even at the trial stage. [46] Defense attorneys report that when they are granted access to their clients, it is for a very short period of time and in the presence of security guards. [47] Judges may bar attorneys from access to their clients, particularly when attorneys protest and/or draw public attention to unfair proceedings. [48] Authorities continue to arrest human rights lawyers to prevent them from giving counsel, and reports indicate that the government has charged attorneys with potentially capital offenses (such as espionage and waging war against the regime) for representing certain defendants. [49]

In 2012, 76% of executions were for drug trafficking offenses. [50] Drug trafficking offenses are tried before the Revolutionary Courts, [51] and “the only lawyers allowed to defend the accused are those named by these courts, which of course may include some lawyers who are less likely to challenge the authority of the court.” [52]

Some defendants reportedly do not receive any legal representation. [53]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

In practice, there is no presumption of innocence, [54] and trials for capital crimes are often perfunctory or driven by political reaction—particularly in the case of minority ethnicity or political or moral dissidence. [55] The government does not respect the role of the attorney as a zealous advocate no matter the client, [56] and the judiciary is not considered independent. [57] Defendants are rarely given the chance to view government-held evidence and are often not permitted to confront their accusers. [58] Furthermore, procedural safeguards are notably absent – trials are often closed to the public and fabricated evidence is used against the defendant. [59] Coerced confessions are common, by ways of physical torture and verbal threats. [60]

Special tribunals controlled by religious clerics—rather than ordinary courts—adjudicate on matters related to state security, narcotics smuggling and other offenses the clergy characterizes as affecting the religious order, and death sentences by these courts may not be adequately reviewed. [61] Some executions are so deficient in process that they could be characterized as extrajudicial executions by the executive and not executions pursuant to the sentence of a court. [62]

Women are pervasively discriminated against under Iranian law, which expressly denies the equality of women. [63] This affects the application of the death penalty. For example, women face uninviting circumstances when accused of sex crimes, and may choose not to legally defend themselves, because after a legal acquittal their male relatives may still either murder them (this would be treated as an honor killing and punished lightly, if at all) or require their suicide. [64] Additionally, execution by stoning is discriminatory towards women—while a person who escapes a stoning pit is considered to have faced his or her sentence, women are buried up to their necks, while men are buried only to the waist. Consequently, men occasionally escape executions by stoning, while it is unlikely that women ever escape. [65]

References

[1] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1, 4-5, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[2] BBC, Iran’s Evin Prison: Jail or ‘hotel’?, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21159392, Jan. 24, 2013.
[3] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 8, Oct. 2013.
[4] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1, 3-4, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[5] US Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204571.pdf, Apr.19, 2013.
[6] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, generally, Apr. 28, 2009.
[7] Radio Zamaneh, Iran: Families of Political Detainees Protest Prison Conditions, Payvand Iran News, http://payvand.com/news/09/nov/1095.html, Nov. 9, 2009.
[8] All Human Rights for All in Iran, Women Prisoners in I.R.Iran, p. 3-8, http://www.iranhrc.org/uploads/docs/docs_en/report_iran2013_womeninjail.pdf, Sep. 18, 2013.
[9] All Human Rights for All in Iran, Women Prisoners in I.R.Iran, p. 7, http://www.iranhrc.org/uploads/docs/docs_en/report_iran2013_womeninjail.pdf, Sep. 18, 2013.
[10] Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran Violates Citizens’ Human and Civil Rights: Prison Conditions, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/The+Iranian+Threat/Human+rights+violations/Iran_violates_civil_and_human_rights_prison_conditions.htm, Jun. 1, 2010; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 24-26, Apr. 28, 2009.
[11] US Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204571.pdf, Apr. 19, 2013.
[12] International Federation for Human Rights, Authorities Prepare Silent Death of Prisoners of Conscience, http://www.fidh.org/en/asia/iran/14190-authorities-prepare-silent-death-of-prisoners-of-conscience, last accessed January 23, 2014.
[13] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1, 3-4, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[14] US Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment,, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204571.pdf, Apr. 19, 2013..
[15] All Human Rights for All in Iran, Women Prisoners in I.R. Iran, p. 3, http://www.iranhrc.org/uploads/docs/docs_en/report_iran2013_womeninjail.pdf, Sep. 18, 2013. Shadi Sadr, Feminist Attorney Speaks Out Against Rape as a Weapon of Torture in Iran, Iran Payvand News, http://www.payvand.com/news/09/sep/1080.html, Aug. 9, 2009 (posts translation of Persian language site).
[16] Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Human Rights Brief: Women in the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6a8664.html, Jun. 1, 1994.
[17] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Denied Identity ¬¬– Human Rights Abuses Against Iran’s LGBT Community, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/reports/1000000398-denied-identity-human-rights-abuses-against-irans-lgbt-community.html#.UvmZG3n1iCZ, Nov. 7, 2013.
[18] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[19] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[20] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, Jan. 19, 2013. AsiaNews.it, Kurdish Prisoner Sentenced to Death to Continue Hunger Strike in Iran, http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Kurdish-prisoner-sentenced-to-death-to-continue-hunger-strike-in-Iran-18548.html, May 31, 2010.
[21] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, Jan. 19, 2013. Asia News, Kurdish Prisoner Sentenced to Death to Continue Hunger Strike in Iran, http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Kurdish-prisoner-sentenced-to-death-to-continue-hunger-strike-in-Iran-18548.html, May 31, 2010. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 60, Apr. 28, 2009. Amnesty Int’l, Iran: Lives of Two Death Row Inmates from Kurdish Minority At Risk Amid Surge in Executions, https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-lives-two-kurdish-death-row-inmates-risk-amid-surge-executions-2013-10-28, Oct. 28, 2013.
[22] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 9, Oct. 2013.
[23] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, The Execution of Women in Iranian Criminal Law: an Examination of the Impact of Gender on Laws Concerning Capital Punishment in the New Islamic Penal Code, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/legal-commentary/1000000102-the-execution-of-women-in-iranian-criminal-law.html#.UubMO3l6ho4, last accessed Feb. 14, 2014.
[24] Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, The Execution of Women in Iranian Criminal Law: an Examination of the Impact of Gender on Laws Concerning Capital Punishment in the New Islamic Penal Code, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/legal-commentary/1000000102-the-execution-of-women-in-iranian-criminal-law.html#.UubMO3l6ho4, last accessed Feb. 14, 2014.
[25] Amnesty Intl., Executions of Juveniles since 1990, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/executions-of-child-offenders-since-1990, last accessed February 9, 2014.
[26] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2013-Iran, http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/iran, 2013.
[27] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 9, Oct. 2013.
[28] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 52, Apr. 28, 2009.
[29] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 55, Apr. 28, 2009.
[30] Amnesty Intl, Iran executes teenager accused of killing “Iran’s strongest man,” http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/iran-executes-teenager-accused-killing-“iran’s-strongest-man”-2011-09-21, Sep. 21, 2011.
[31] Amnesty Intl, Iran Executes Alleged Juvenile Offender, https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-executes-alleged-juvenile-offender-2013-01-18, Jan. 18, 2013.
[32] Intl. Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Iran Should Halt as Rate of Hangings Accelerates, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/10/executions/, last accessed Jan. 23, 2013.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63d Session, Report of the Secretary-General /on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, para. 58, A/63/459, Oct. 1, 2008; U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, para. 69, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010; US Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Iran, Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136068.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 24, 35-37, 43, 46, Apr. 28, 2009.
[34] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[35] Deutsche Welle, Arab Activists Face Execution on Iran’s Death Row, http://www.dw.de/arab-activists-face-execution-on-irans-death-row/a-16728569, Mar. 5, 2013.
[36] International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Even on Death Row, Sunni Prisoners Mistreated for Religious Beliefs, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/06/sunni_rajaee_shahr/, Jun. 5, 2013.
[37] Iran Criminal Code of Procedure for Public and Revolutionary Courts, arts. 125, 185, 1999.
[38] Iran Criminal Code of Procedure for Public and Revolutionary Courts, art. 185(1), 1999.
[39] Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[40] Human Rights Activists New Agency, A Kurdish Prisoner Has Received Death Sentence in Mahabad, https://hra-news.org/en/kurdish-prisoner-received-death-sentence-mahabad, last accessed January 24, 2013.
[41] Iran Criminal Code of Procedure for Public and Revolutionary Courts, arts. 125, 185, 1999. Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[42] Iran Criminal Code of Procedure for Public and Revolutionary Courts, art. 185(1), 1999. Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[43] Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[44] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[45] Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[46] Hossein Raeesi, affiliated with Iran Human Rights, e-mail to DPW, DPW Doc. Iran E-1, Feb. 20, 2014.
[47] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[48] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 26, Apr. 28, 2009.
[49] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 24-26, Apr. 28, 2009. Pepe Escobar, The Roving Eye Iran Jails its Conscience, Asia Times Online, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IJ18Ak02.html , Oct. 18, 2007.
[50] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p.6, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013.
[51] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 24-26, Apr. 28, 2009.
[52] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 220-221, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2008.
[53] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[54] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[55] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 43, 46, Apr. 28, 2009. Jordan Bach, Iran Wants to Execute Porn Stars Following Zahra Amir Ebrahimi Sex Tape, Gambling911.com, http://www.gambling911.com/Iran-Execute-Porn-Stars-Zahra-Amir-Ebrahimi-061307.html, Jun. 13, 2007. Kenly Walker, Death Penalty for Porn in Iran?, CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/14/world/main2927315.shtml, Jun. 14, 2007 (the Iranian government moving quickly to make the action officially death-eligible).
[56] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 26, Apr. 28, 2009.
[57] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[58] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[59] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Iran, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper, Apr. 19, 2013.
[60] World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Iran: Indiscriminate Executions Continue, http://www.worldcoalition.org/iran-mass-executions-diplomacy-us-eu-retaliation-human-rights-violation.html, last accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
[61] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 24-26, Apr. 28, 2009.
[62] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Iran, Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136068.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[63] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Preamble: Women in the Constitution, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[64] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 43, Apr. 28, 2009.
[65] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Iran, Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136068.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

The most recent concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee were issued in 2011. [1] The Committee expressed concern about the extremely high and increasing number of death sentences carried out in Iran. It called on Iran to abolish the death penalty, or in the alternative, restrict the imposition of it. [2] It also called for Iran to immediately end the executions of minors. [3] In 1993, the Human Rights Committee found that Iran does not protect due process rights in capital cases, pronounces death sentences without trial, does not limit the death penalty to the most serious crimes, and carries out public executions. [4] The Committee protested government interference with preparation of a defense and the lack of an independent bar association. The Committee indicated that torture and poor treatment of detainees were serious problems. [5]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

In 2005, the Committee on the Rights of the Child issued concluding observations in which it recommended that Iran stop executing children, legislate against the execution of children, and enact a moratorium on juvenile executions for the time being. [6] While a 2008 report by the Secretary-General indicated some movement to curb the application of the death penalty to juveniles in Iran, [7] in 2010, the Human Rights Council observed that Iran continues to execute children, [8] and the General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that Iran stop executing juveniles. [9]

In 2004, the Commission on Human Rights indicated that Iran executes political dissidents. [10] In 2010, the Human Rights Council observed that the situation remained unchanged, [11] and the General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding Iran stop such executions. [12]

In 2003, the Commission on Human Rights indicated that Iran may sentence people to death for simply being original adherents of disfavored religions or minority groups. [13] In 2008 and 2010, a report by the Secretary-General and report by the Human Rights Council observed that this remains the case, [14] and the General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that Iran cease discrimination against minority groups. [15]

In 2008, the Secretary-General indicated that Iran continues to execute people for non-serious crimes and despite a lack of adequate process. [16] In 2010, the Human Rights Council confirmed that Iran continues to apply the death penalty for non-serious crimes and acts that should not be treated as crimes. [17] In 2010 the General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that Iran cease government interference with defendants’ counsel, denial of the right to due process, and use of torture to coerce confessions. [18]

In its Universal Periodic Review in 2010, the Human Rights Council noted that Iran interferes with the ability of human rights defenders to express their views and defend human rights in Iran. [19] The Human Rights Council noted that Iran continues to use methods of execution involving torture or degrading treatment, including painful methods of execution and public execution, [20] and the General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding Iran end its use of torture and to abolish public executions and executions conducted in the absence of internationally recognized safeguards. [21]

In 2013, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran to the UN expressed concern about the use of public executions, noting that it adds to the cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty. [22] He also criticized the 2013 amendments to the Islamic Penal Code as they broaden the scope of crimes punishable by death. [23]

References

[1] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Iran, U.N. Doc CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3, Nov. 2, 2011.
[2] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Iran, para. 12, U.N. Doc CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3, Nov. 2, 2011.
[3] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Iran, para. 13, U.N. Doc CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3, Nov. 2, 2011.
[4] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Iran, par. 8-12, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add.25, Aug. 3, 1993.
[5] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Iran, par. 10, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add.25, Aug. 3, 1993.
[6] U.N. CRC, Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: The Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 8, 30, 73(a), U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.254, Mar. 31, 2005.
[7] U.N.G.A., 63d Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, paras. 21, 23, A/63/459, Oct. 1, 2008.
[8] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 32, 34, 73, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010.
[9] U.N.G.A., 64th Session, Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 2, 4, U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/176, Mar. 26, 2010.
[10] U.N. ESC, Commission on Human Rights, Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Freedom of Expression, paras. 29(b), 48(e), U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2004/62/Add.2, Jan. 12, 2004.
[11] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 21, 22, 39, 61, 69, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010.
[12] U.N.G.A., 64th Session, Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, para. 3, 4, U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/176, Mar. 26, 2010.
[13] U.N. ESC, Commission on Human Rights, Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Torture and Detention, para. 45, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2004/Add.2, Jun. 27, 2003.
[14] U.N.G.A., 63d Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, para. 58, A/63/459, Oct. 1, 2008. U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, para. 69, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010.
[15] U.N.G.A., 64th Session, Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, para. 4, U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/176, Mar. 26, 2010.
[16] U.N.G.A., 63d Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, para. 32, A/63/459, Oct. 1, 2008.
[17] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 21, 74, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010.
[18] U.N.G.A., 64th Session, Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 2, 3, 4, U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/176, Mar. 26, 2010.
[19] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 73, 39, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010.
[20] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the UPR: Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 50, 73, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/12, Mar. 15, 2010.
[21] U.N.G.A., 64th Session, Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, paras. 2, 4, U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/176, Mar. 26, 2010.
[22] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Islamic Republic of Iran, para. 35, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/56, Feb. 28, 2013.
[23] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Islamic Republic of Iran, para. 35, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/56, Feb. 28, 2013.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran
Mrs. Ladan Boroumand
Research Director/Historian
3220 N Street N.W.
2007 Washington, USA
Tel: +1 2024657184
Fax: +1 2025364177
ladan@abfiran.org
www.iranrights.org

Society of the Right to Life Guardians
Mr. Emmadeddin Baghi
Tel: +98 21 20 43 199
Fax: +98 21 20 43 199
emadbaghi2003@yahoo.com
http://www.emadbaghi.com/en

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Reprieve
PO Box 72054
London EC3P 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel 020 7553 8140
Fax 020 7553 8189
info@reprieve.org.uk
http://www.reprieve.org.uk

Iran Human Rights publishes detailed articles documenting executions in Iran and, beginning in 2008, has issued annual reports on the death penalty in Iran: http://iranhr.net/

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center also provides information on executions and has compiled a number of documents and reports relevant to the death penalty and human rights in Iran: http://www.iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/mission.htm.

The Adborrahman Boroumand Foundation maintains a website with some legal resources and an archive of past executions at http://www.iranrights.org/.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran regularly publishes death penalty data at: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/.

Stop Stoning Forever is an international organization that was co-founded by Iranian human rights attorney and journalist Shadi Sadr, and may be a resource for other death penalty-related information in Iran: http://www.stop-stoning.org/.

Helpful Reports and Publications

Human Rights Watch, Codifying Repression – An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/iran0812webwcover_0.pdf, Aug. 2012.

Intl. Fed. Against the Death Penalty, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, October 2013, http://www.fidh.org/en/asia/iran/death-penalty-in-iran-a-state-terror-policy-14075, Oct. 2013.

Intl. Fed. Against the Death Penalty, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Rapport_Iran_final.pdf, Apr. 28, 2009.

Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, Special Edition for the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, Mar. 16, 2010, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Report_Iran_2010_En-2.pdf.

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, The Execution of Women in Iranian Criminal Law: an Examination of the Impact of Gender on Laws Concerning Capital Punishment in the New Islamic Penal Code, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/legal-commentary/1000000102-the-execution-of-women-in-iranian-criminal-law.html#.UubMO3l6ho4, last accessed Feb. 14, 2014.

Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session: Capital Offenses in the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf, Sep. 2009.

U.N.G.A., 63d Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, generally, A/63/459, Oct. 1, 2008.

One journal article supplied good theoretical background for confirming the accuracy of non-academic reports, although we cite the non-academic reports because they are more exhaustive: Mohsen Rahami, Development of Criminal Punishment in the Iranian Post Revolutionary Penal Code, European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Vol. 13/4, p. 585, 2005.

Hossein Raeesi, Handbook of Children's Rights in Iran, https://tavaana.org/en/content/childrens-rights-manual, Oct. 2014 ( in Farsi).

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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