The chief of Iran’s judiciary has issued a decree ordering judges not to detain suspects unless charges are pressed against them, Iranian newspapers reported Wednesday.
According to Agence France-Presse, which quoted the newspaper Hemayat, the latest decree on detentions reads: “Refrain from summoning people without pressing charges. Refrain from holding people under arrest without pressing charges. Refrain from pressing bail without setting charges.” It also ordered judges to “refrain from summoning people without sufficient proof.”
Iran’s Constitution states that suspects should not be held for more than 24 hours without being charged. Iran’s system of criminal punishment — which includes public executions, stoning for adultery and child executions— has been sharply criticized in recent months by human rights organizations, United Nations, European Union and many other countries.
It is unclear if the decree by the judicial chief, will have much impact because the country’s intelligence apparatus generally holds people without charges, and it does not consult judges.
In 2002, Shahrudi called on judges to stop sentencing people to death by stoning, although Islamic law specifies that punishment for adulterers. Despite the order, at least one man was executed last year by stoning and at least two imprisoned women have received the sentence, according to women’s activist groups.
Earlier this month Ayatollah Shahrudi also issued another decree, banning public executions. Islamic Regime in Iran had been openly practicing public executions and detaining without charges ever since its inception 29 years ago.
The two recent judicial decrees to ban public executions and detention without charges are the direct results of the continuous pressures and appeals that forced the leadership of the Iran to give in to the internal and international demands.
SCE welcomes the two recent decrees and additionally demand that Ayatollah Shahrudi order an immediate halt to all child executions until the passage of the Parliamentary juvenile bill which has been blocked for the past 4.5 years by the ultra conservative forces inside and outside the Islamic parliament as well as by the members of the Islamic guardian council.