Source: Deutsche Welle http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4207804,00.html
The Iranian Parliament’s Special Rapporteur on Legal Rights Amir Hossein Rahimi announced a verdict that “Hudud” crimes and “ghesas” crimes retribution will not carry the death penalty for those who have committed an offence before the age of 18 years.
(to understand more about “Hadd” and “Ghesas” see here: http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:I7qE2-ydZYcJ:muslim-canada.org/Islam_myths.htm+hadd+ghesas+crimes&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca )
According to a report by Iran’s state sponsored news agency, IRNA, Special Rapporteur Amir Hossein Rahimi said that they are working on a bill written for the commission of the Islamic Penal Code. A portion of the bill deals with the issue of executions of those who have committed an offence before the age of 18. According to this bill, if there is any doubt about the mental capacity and physical capacity of the offender under 18 years, the punishment of execution for Hadd and Ghesas will not be carried out. This bill is being sent for final approval by the Assembly of Experts.
“Approval of this bill is an important breakthrough” said Amin Hossein Rahimi, “because currently children (9 year old girls and 15 year old boys) are considered adults under Shari’a law. If they have not reached their 18th birthday and there is doubt about their mental and physical age, they will not be punished with retribution. Rahimi said this bill is among other things that was produced and brought forward to the Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Hashemi Shahourdi
Attorney and Sociologist Dr. Mohammad Seifzadeh said in an interview with Deutsche Welle “Child Rights have been accepted by Iran, establishing a child below the age of 18 years and therefore not criminally responsible for their actions below that age”.
According to Seifzadeh, “By acknowledging this point of view in the bill, parliament has taken a positive step forward but the law which differentiates punishment between adults and children and the establishment of a juvenile court was approved 49 years ago in Iran (1339). Seifzadeh said he has issues with all Islamic laws and expressed this in a conference before the Center for Human Rights Defenders, whom he is one of the founders.
He believes all Islamic law must be changed to reflect and represent today’s time and standards. He believes that there are many different interpretations of Islamic law by different leaders, philosophers and Islamic lawmakers which proves that the laws must be changed to be in accordance to the present time.
Seifzadeh says that the laws created after the Revolution are generally dubious, weak, aggressive and controversial. He suggests Iran abide by their obligations to international promises and follow in accordance to international treaties which they have signed. Seifzadeh suggests that Iran has no other choice but to change the laws because the regime has gradually understood that executions and other harsh punishments do not reduce crimes.
Interviewer: Keivandokht Ghahari
Writer: Farid Vahidi.