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IRAN - “Forgiveness”

April 30, 2021:

IRAN

“Forgiveness”
According to the IPC, murder is punished by qisas, where the family of the victim can demand a retribution death sentence. But they can also demand diya (blood money) instead of a death sentence or can simply grant forgiveness.
IHR has collected forgiveness reports since 2015. Altogether, the reports gathered in the past 4 years show that the families of murder victims who chose forgiveness or diya for murder convicts outnumber those who chose the death penalty.
For the sake of simplicity, we will use the term forgiveness in the following section, regardless of whether there has been a demand for blood money or not.
As for the execution numbers, not all forgiveness cases are reported by the Iranian media. Based on reports by the Iranian media and, to a lesser extent, through its own network inside Iran, IHR has identified 662 forgiveness cases in 2020, compared to 211 qisas executions.
Forgiveness cases have been 374 in 2019, 272 in 2018, 221 in 2017, 232 in 2016 and 262 in 2015. Thus, there is a growing trend for forgiveness.
In 2020, the forgiveness cases outnumbered those of implemented qisas executions. The actual numbers for both forgiveness and qisas death sentences are believed to be higher. Reports indicate that the number of forgiveness cases might be several folds higher than the numbers presented in this report.
The increasing trend of forgiveness in Iran correlates with a survey conducted in September 2020 showing the majority of people prefer alternative punishments to the qisas death penalty for murder victims. Iranian authorities assert that qisas is the right of the plaintiff (the victim’s family) and that most qisas executions take place upon the plaintiff’s request.
However, when questioned about their preferred punishment if an immediate family member was murdered, only 21.5% of respondents chose qisas, while more than 50% preferred alternative punishments such as imprisonment.
In 2020, IHR recorded forgiveness cases in 29 of the 31 provinces in Iran. In comparison, qisas death sentences were reported in 24 of the provinces. In most provinces, the number of forgiveness cases were higher than qisas executions.
The number of implemented qisas executions was higher than or equal to forgiveness only in two provinces (Lorestan 7/8, and Qom 2/2), while in the rest of the provinces the forgiveness numbers were either equal or higher than qisas executions.
Prisons in the Tehran and Karaj (Alborz) area were the sites of the highest number of both forgiveness (92) and qisas (57) cases in 2020 in Iran.

https://iranhr.net/en/articles/4716/

(Source: IHR)

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