Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 08, 2008

LCHR condemns Iran’s new draft penal code

Iran’s parliament is currently reviewing a new draft penal code in which apostasy will, for the first time, be punishable by death.

According to Article 225-7, punishment for an Innate Apostate- an individual born to at least one Muslim parent who has declared him/herself a Muslim after the age of maturity, before then leaving the religion- is death.

Parental Apostates, those who were born to non-Muslim parents and became a Muslim independently before then leaving the religion, have a three day grace period in which they may decide to rejoin Islam, thus avoiding the death penalty.

It is thought that Article 225-11 specifically targets the Baha’i faith when it states that “any Muslim who invents a heresy in the religion and creates a sect based on that which is contrary to the obligations and necessities of Islam, is considered an apostate.”

LCHR denounces the draft penal code, which clearly violates Iran’s commitments under the International Covenants on Human Rights.

Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes.” Executions for crimes “beyond intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences,” are considered to violate the Covenant.

To read the draft penal code, click here.


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