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Public Flogging in Golpayegan: A Woman Received 100 Lashes for Alleged Illegitimate Relationship

Bayan-news / ABF translation
April 26, 2016

“According to Bayan-news report, the lash ruling against a woman, who had an illegitimate relationship with a man and participated in the murder of her husband four years earlier, was carried out in public this morning [April 26, 2016].

During an interview with the Bayan-news report this morning, Alian, the Public Prosecutor of Golpayegan, stated: 'On July 6, 2012, a woman named S. T. filed a complaint at the Revolutionary Public Prosecutor’s Office in Golpayegan regarding her husband missing.'

The preliminary investigations by the judge and the Intelligence Police revealed that a crime was committed. After evidence was gathered, she was charged for hiding her husband and sent to prison.

The Public Prosecutor of Golpayegan continued: 'During the continuing investigation, finally the defendant confessed and revealed the committed horrible crime. She stated that she had participated in the murder of her husband in collaboration with the murderer, named H. F., with the motivation of having an illegitimate relationship and sexual pleasure.'

After the confession of the female defendant, the male defendant was arrested quickly and they both went to prison for participation in murder and having an illegitimate relationship. After the indictment was issued, Mr. H. F. was condemned to death for murder and to 100 lashes for having an illegitimate relationship. The female defendant was condemned to 15 years imprisonment for assisting in murder and to 100 lashes for having an illegitimate relationship with the murderer. The Supreme Court confirmed these rulings. Both defendants are detained after the finalization of sentences.

Alian stated that since the ruling clearly indicated that the flogging against the woman should be carried out in public and in the city where the crime was committed, it was carried out with proper arrangement today April 26, 2016.”

ABF Note


Findings of guilt in the Islamic Republic of Iran's Judicial Proceedings

The Islamic Republic of Iran's criminal justice system regularly falls short of the standards for due process necessary for impartiality, fairness, and efficacy. Suspects are often held incommunicado and not told of the reason for their detainment. Defendants are frequently prohibited from examining the evidence used against them. Defendants are sometimes prohibited from having their lawyers present in court. Additionally, confessions, made under duress or torture, are commonly admitted as proof of guilt. Because Iran's courts regularly disregard principles essential to the proper administration of justice, findings of guilt may not be evaluated with certainty.

Corporal Punishment: the Legal context in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic's criminal code recognizes corporal punishment for a wide range of offenses: consumption of alcohol, theft, adultery, "flouting" of public morals, and mixing of the sexes in public. Judges have the latitude to mete out corporal punishment for those sentenced to death. In such cases, the flogging is carried out before death to maximize the suffering of defendant. Aside from flogging, the Islamic Republic also employs amputations as a punishment for theft. In such cases, the defendant is taken to a hospital and put under anesthesia as his hand or foot is amputated. In some cases the left foot and right hand are cut off, making it difficult for the condemned to walk, even with the assistance of a cane or crutches.

The Islamic Republic's Systematic Violation of its International Obligations under International Law

The use of corporal punishment is contrary to international law and is addressed in several international agreements. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Iran has ratified, states that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Identical language is also used in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Iran is also a party to. The strongest expression of international disapproval is contained in the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). This treaty defines torture as, "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as ... punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed." Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to sign the CAT, the prohibition on torture is now considered jus cogens and, therefore, part of customary international law. Furthermore, even though the norm against corporal punishment is not yet a jus cogens, there is increasing evidence that it is illegal under international human rights law.[1] In Osbourne v. Jamaica, the Committee Against Torture (a body of experts responsible for monitoring compliance with the Convention) held that "corporal punishment constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment contrary to Article 7 of the Convention." The Islamic Republic of Iran's systematic violations of its obligations under international law have been addressed by the UN General Assembly multiple times, most recently in December 2007. In Resolution 62/168, the UN expressed deep concern with Iran's continued flouting of international human rights law, particularly, "confirmed instances of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations."