Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

Rights group: 80% of people sentenced to death as minors in Saudi Arabia still face execution

DUBAI (Reuters) - Anti-death penalty group Reprieve said on Friday that 80% of those sentenced to death for crimes in Saudi Arabia while minors still face execution despite reforms announced in 2020.

Saudi authorities said last year they would stop sentencing to death any individuals who committed crimes while minors and would apply this retroactively.

However, the March 2020 royal decree announcing this was not reported by state media or published in the official gazette as would be normal practice. Human rights groups and western lawmakers have raised concerns about its implementation.

Asked whether the decree applied to all types of crimes, the state-backed Human Rights Commission told Reuters in February the ban only applied to a lesser category of offence under Islamic law known as “ta’zeer.”

This would mean judges can therefore still sentence child offenders to death under the other two categories, according to Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of sharia: “houdoud”, or serious crimes that carry a prescribed punishment, including terrorism, and “qisas”, or retribution, usually for murder.

In a communication to the United Nations published on Thursday, Saudi authorities confirmed that the royal decree only applies to cases of “ta’zeer”.

The Saudi government media office did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

By Reprieve’s count, 10 people are currently at risk of execution in the kingdom: seven were convicted of houdoud offences and one of a qisas offense. 

Only two of them would be covered by the royal decree’s protections.

“When eight out of 10 people facing the death penalty for childhood crimes remain at risk of execution, it’s hard to see how anything has changed, despite all the promises of progress and reform,” Reprieve Director Maya Foa said.

Source: reuters.com, Staff, April 9, 2021

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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