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Flogging

Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported to Iran From Norway

Iran Human Rights
Iran Human Rights
September 20, 2017
Newspaper article

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (20 SEPTEMER 2017): The Iranian asylum seeker Leila Bayat, who was deported from Norway on 8 March 2017, has received 80 lashes in Tehran. During the investigation of her asylum case, the Norwegian authorities didn’t approve the documents regarding Leila Bayat’s flogging sentence and denied her asylum.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director and spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR) said, “It is a shame that the authorities of a country like Norway, which has a reputation of respecting human rights and in particular women’s rights, didn’t provide a woman who had escaped flogging sentence with asylum and deported her back to Iran. In this case, Norwegian authorities didn’t fulfill their legal and human duty, and in the best case scenario, deported her to Iran despite having serious doubts about her flogging sentence. There were lots of evidence showing Leila’s flogging sentence was authentic but the Norwegian authorities ignored them. The Islamic Republic of Iran is to be blamed for the inhumane sentence of 80 lashes Leila received, but the Norwegian authorities have their share of responsibility in this case and must be held accountable for it.”

According to a close source, Leila Bayat received 80 lashes at branch 3 of the Section for Implementation of Sentence of Tehran’s Prosecution Office at 1 pm on Tuesday September 19.

Leila Bayat and three of her friends were arrested in 2007 and sentenced branch 3 of the 21th district Prosecution Office of Tehran to 80 lashes for drinking alcoholic beverages. They were released on bail of 7 million Tomans (about 1800 USD) and tried to change the sentence for two and a half years. Being disappointed, Leila together with her 5-year-old son sought asylum in Norway where they were denied asylum several times by the authorities of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

Leila Bayat was finally deported to Iran on March 11, 2017 and tried to have her sentence suspended which was unsuccessful.

“I told them (Norwegian authorities) the exact details of my case, but it was refused seven times. They claimed that the verdict, the warrant, my lawyer’s testimony, and everything I presented to them were fake and my case was a lie. They said that their expert at Norway’s Embassy in Iran had examined the documents and said that such a sentence would never be carried out in Iran. And in the end, they separated me from my 13-year-old son and deported me back to Iran,” said Leila to IHR.

She added, “Before returning to Iran, I was so angry about why I had to escape from my own country. But now, I’m angrier at Norway. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, we were sentenced to flogging because we didn’t obey the law, but I sought asylum in Norway and I thought that I would be safe there, which was far from true.”

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."