Crime & punishment in Iran

Iran, Known as Persia until 1935, became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile. Iranian people are mostly Muslim; Shiite Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 9%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i 2%. Islamic Revolution 1979 relocate the dominant power in society form its "modernist-monarchic" position to an "Islamic-modernist" stand. Since then the country has been governed by Islamic clerics or their partisans who make a careful selction of what is modern and at the same time serves their Islamic rhetorics. My aim is not to criticize the Islamic government, rather i try to describe what is being done in Iran under the rubric of "Crime & Punishment". To do this, i will first point to some forms of crime and punishment in policies and law books.

As the title of the political regime implies Islam is the main source of guidance and legitimacy for public policies. Article four of Iran's constitution requires that all laws and regulations must be according to the Islam and Sharia (Islamic laws). To ensure the accordance of laws, passed by parliament, with Sharia and constitution writers of the constitution established a institution entitled to veto the laws that seems to disagree with what the Sharia demands-known as guardian council-. The very existence of such a supervisory institution over the parliament- the member of which are elected through the direct election of the people- shows that the decisions and the practices of public (republic) to be effective have to have the signature of Islam and its learned bearers; Mujtahed, (Islamic jurists). This mechanism is to fulfill the Islamic demands of the general public.
Accordingly, crime and punishment in Iran must bear Islamic label, whether in modern style and form or in originally Islamic forms and style.

crimes and punishments in Iran's penal code are categorised as bellow:

1- Hudud:


-Death penalty through; stoning, hanging (gallows),



- blinding

- Balding

- crucifying

2- Qisas, retaliatory injuries and damages to the body of offenders

3- Diyat; pecuniary composition

4- Tazirat; divided according the targets of criminal acts:

1- Crimes against domestic and foreign security of the country

2- Offending the religious sacred and attempting murder of national authorities

3- Attempting murder of foreign political authorities

4- Production and distribution of false money

5- Forgery

6- Undoing the officially closed places and theft of official writings

7- Prisoner escaping and concealing the offenders

8- False appropriation of official posts and titles

9- Destruction of historic and cultural properties

10- State’s officers and authorities wrong doing

11- Bribery, usury and fraud

12- Failure to do the legal obligation

13- Offences of official officers against state

14- Resistance to official officers

15- Offending to a person dignity

16- Participation and conspiracy to commit a crime

17- Crime against persons and minors

18- Indecency and crimes against public morals

19- Crime against family rights and duties

20- Perjury and false testimony and disclosing the secrets

21- Theft of other’s property

22- Intimidation and duress

23- Crimes of Bankruptcy

24- Breaching the trust

25- Arson, sabotage and damaging properties and animals

26- Breaking the privacy of other’s house and lands

27- Casting false suspicion, offending and indecency

28- Drinking wine, gambling and vagrancy in public

29- Driving related Crimes

This categorization is based upon the Islamic system of punishment. In that, either, crimes and the style, form and quantity of corresponding punishments, have been determined by Quran, sunah (the speeches and deeds of Prophet Mohammad) and Hdis (the speeches of Shiit Emams) or the crime is mentioned without determining the style, form and quantity of punishment; meaning that the wrongness and decency of the given act is declared by Quran, sunah or Hdis but these textual resources are silent about the corresponding punishment. The first types of crimes and punishment are called "Hudud" and the second type called "Taazirat". There are some other crimes and punishments that basically are not mentioned in the religious texts, including Quran, Sunah and Hadis; these are referred as Bazdarandeh (preventive punishments) in Iran's criminal code.

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