At the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child we are still confronted with children being victims of honor killing, rape and sexual abuse as well as corporal punishments. The laws in different countries as well as media could have a preventive effect on this issue or could be encouraging for implementation of violence. Impunity of perpetrators, who are usually very close to the children, is not acceptable at all.
Article 301 of the new Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that if a father (or paternal grandfather in the absence of a father) murders his child, the qisas principle does not apply at all, instead the father, if found guilty, will face between three and 10 years of jail. In effect, the murder of a child due to a father’s act of domestic violence, including “honor killings,” receives a lesser punishment than a murder where the victim and assailant are not related. The result is reduced accountability for those guilty of filicide.
In one case, a court sentenced a father to six months in prison for stabbing to death his 17-year-old daughter in an apparent “honor killing.”
Corporal punishment of children in Iran is not forbidden. The Article 1179 of civil law states that the parents have the right to punish their children but this right doesn’t give them license for punishment outside the limits. What are the limits is not mentioned in the law. A variety of corporal punishments are also included in the Islamic penal code and the judge can decide if a juvenile offender should be treated as a child or as an adult, meaning that children under 18 could be flagged or executed after they reached 18.
Madame Special Representative,
Sudwind hopes that your mandate in coordination with Dr Ahmed Shaheed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the focus on honor killings, corporal punishment and situation of street children could bring real changes on the ground.