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Islamic Penal Code of Iran (1991, as amended 2012; selected provisions related to women) – 3: Book 2 – Hudud, Part 2 – Offences Punishable by Hadd

Article 221- Zina is defined as sexual intercourse of a man and a woman who are not married to each other, and also provided that the intercourse is not done by mistake.
Note 1- A sexual intercourse occurs when the sex organ (penis) of a man, up to the point of circumcision, enters into the vagina or anus of a woman.
Note 2- If both parties or one of them are non-pubescent, zina occurs but for the non-pubescent [party(parties)] the hadd punishment shall not be given, but instead they shall be sentenced to security and correctional measures mentioned in the first book of this law.

Article 222- Sexual intercourse with a dead person shall be regarded as zina, unless a husband has sexual intercourse with his deceased wife, which is not zina; but, shall be punishable by thirty one to seventy four lashes of ta’zir punishment of the sixth grade.

Article 223- Where a person who is charged with zina, claims that s/he has been married to the other party or he has engaged in intercourse as a result of a mistake, his/her claim shall be accepted without [resorting to] testimonies and oaths, unless it is proved otherwise by an ultimate proof that meets the requirements under Shari’a.

Article 224- In the following cases the hadd punishment for zina is the death penalty:
(a) Zina with blood relatives who are prohibited to marry.
(b) Zina with a step-mother; in which case, the man who committed zina shall be sentenced to the death penalty.
(c) Zina of a non-Muslim man with a Muslim woman; in which case, the man who committed zina shall be sentenced to the death penalty.
(d) Zina committed by coercion or force [i.e. rape]; in which case, the man who committed zina by coercion or force shall be sentenced to the death penalty.
Note 1- Punishment of the woman who has committed zina in paragraphs (b) and (c) shall be in accordance with other provisions of zina.
Note 2- The conduct of anyone who commits zina with a woman who did not consent to engage in zina with him, while she is unconscious, asleep, or drunk, shall be regarded as zina committed by coercion [i.e. rape]. In cases of zina by deceiving and enticing a non-pubescent girl, or by abducting, threatening, or intimidating a woman, even if she surrenders herself as a result of that, the abovementioned rule shall apply.

Article 225- The hadd punishment for zina of a man and a woman who meet the conditions of ihsan shall be stoning to death. Where the execution of stoning is not possible, upon proposal of the court of final judgment and approval of the Head of Judiciary, if the offense is proved by testimony of witnesses, the man and a woman who have committed zina and meet the conditions of ihsan shall be sentenced to the death penalty [hanging]; otherwise, each one of them shall be given one hundred lashes.

Article 226- Ihsan shall be established for both men and women according to the following:
(a) Ihsan of a man is defined as a status that a man is married to a permanent and pubescent wife and has had vaginal intercourse with her whilst he has been sane and pubescent and can have vaginal intercourse with her whenever he so wishes.
(b) Ihsan of a woman is defined as a status that a woman who is married to her permanent and pubescent husband and the husband has had vaginal intercourse with her whilst she was sane and pubescent and she is able to have vaginal intercourse with her husband.

Article 227- The parties to a marriage shall not meet the conditions of ihsan [mentioned in article 226] during periods such as travel, imprisonment, menstruation, lochia, any illness that prevents sexual intercourse, or any illness that puts the other party at risk such as AIDS and syphilis.

Article 228- In the case of a zina with blood relatives who are prohibited to marry and a zina that the offender meets the conditions of ihsan, if the woman who has committed zina is pubescent and the man who has committed zina is non-pubescent, the woman shall only be sentenced to one hundred lashes.

Article 229- If a man who is married to his permanent wife commits zina prior to any sexual intercourse [with his wife], he shall be sentenced to the hadd punishment of one hundred lashes and shaving his head, and banishment for one year.

Article 230- In cases where the offender does not meet the conditions of ihsan [mentioned in article 227], the hadd punishment for zina shall be one hundred lashes.

Article 231- In the case of zina committed by coercion or force [i.e. rape], if the woman is a virgin, the offender, in addition to the punishment provided, shall be convicted to pay the compensation for virginity and a mahr-ul-methl (a type of mahr that shall be paid to a woman at the rate payable for other women in a similar position); and if she is not a virgin, the offender shall be sentenced to the punishment and payment of a mahr-ul-methl.

Article 232- Where a man or woman confesses to zina less than four times, s/he shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir punishment of the sixth grade. The same punishment mentioned in this article shall be applicable in the cases of livat, tafkhiz, and musaheqeh.

Article 233- Livat is defined as penetration of a man’s sex organ (penis), up to the point of circumcision, into another male person’s anus.

Article 234- The hadd punishment for livat shall be the death penalty for the insertive/active party if he has committed livat by using force, coercion, or in cases where he meets the conditions for ihsan; otherwise, he shall be sentenced to one hundred lashes. The hadd punishment for the receptive/passive party, in any case (whether or not he meets the conditions for ihsan) shall be the death penalty.
Note 1- If the insertive/active party is a non-Muslim and the receptive/passive party is a Muslim, the hadd punishment for the insertive/active party shall be the death penalty.
Note 2- Ihsan is defined as a status that a man is married to a permanent and pubescent wife and whilst he has been sane and pubescent has had a vaginal intercourse with the same wife while she was pubescent, and he can have an intercourse with her in the same way [vaginal] whenever he so wishes.

Article 235- Tafkhiz is defined as putting a man’s sex organ (penis) between the thighs or buttocks of another male person.
Note- A penetration [of a penis into another male person’s anus] that does not reach the point of circumcision shall be regarded as tafkhiz.

Article 236- In the case of tafkhiz, the hadd punishment for the active and passive party shall be one hundred lashes and it shall make no difference whether or not the offender meets the conditions of ihsan [mentioned in note 2 of article 234], or whether or not [the offender] has resorted to coercion.
Note- If the active party is a non-Muslim and the passive party is a Muslim, the hadd punishment for the active party shall be the death penalty.

Article 237- Homosexual acts of a male person in cases other than livat and tafkhiz, such as kissing or touching as a result of lust, shall be punishable by thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir punishment of the sixth grade.
Note 1- This article shall be equally applicable in the case of a female person.
Note 2- This article shall not be applicable in the cases punishable by a hadd punishment under Shari’a rules.

Article 238- Musaheqeh is defined as where a female person puts her sex organ on the sex organ of another person of the same sex.

Article 239- The hadd punishment for musaheqeh shall be one hundred lashes.

Article 240- Regarding the hadd punishment for musaheqeh, there is no difference between the active or passive parties or between Muslims and non-Muslims, or between a person that meets the conditions for ihsan and a person who does not, and also whether or not [the offender] has resorted to coercion.

Article 241- In the cases of indecent offenses, in the absence of admissible legal evidence and with denial of the accused, any type of investigation and interrogation in order to discover hidden affairs and things concealed from the public eye shall be prohibited. In cases with the possibility of commission of an offense with force, coercion, assault, abduction, or deception, or cases which are considered as commission [of an offense] with resorting to force, this rule shall not be applicable.

Article 242- Procuring/pandering is defined as [the act of] connecting two or more people together in order to commit zina or livat.
Note 1- The hadd punishment for procuring/pandering is subject to commission of the zina or livat; otherwise, the offender shall be punishable by the ta’zir punishment prescribed in article 244 of this law.
Note 2- In procuring/pandering, reoccurrence of the act shall not be necessary for commission of the offense.

Article 243- The hadd punishment for procuring/pandering is seventy-five lashes for men; and if committed for the second time, in addition to the hadd punishment of seventy-five lashes, [the offender] shall be sentenced to banishment from [his] area for a period of up to one year at the discretion of the judge, and it is only seventy-five lashes for women.

Article 244- Anyone who connects two or more non-pubescent persons together in order to commit zina or livat shall not be punishable by a hadd punishment but shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes and a ta’zir imprisonment of the sixth degree.

Article 245- Qazf is defined as a false accusation of zina or livat against someone else, even a dead person.

Article 246- Qazf must be clear and unambiguous and the accuser must be aware of the meaning of the word and have the intention to accuse, even though the victim, or listener, to the qazf, are not aware of its content at the time of commission of the qazf.
Note- In addition to oral and written, a qazf can be committed by electronic means as well.

Article 247- If a person tells his/her legitimate child “you are not my child”, or, if they tell someone else’s legitimate child “you are not your father’s child”, it shall be considered as qazf against his/her mother.
Note- If there is an indication that qazf is not intended, then, the hadd punishment shall not be given.

Article 249- If a person tells another person “you have committed zina with that woman or livat with that man”, s/he shall be only regarded as having committed a qazf against the addressee.

Article 250- The hadd punishment for qazf is eighty lashes.

Article 251- Qazf shall result in the hadd punishment when the person who is the subject of the qazf is pubesecent, sane, Muslim, specified [by the offender], and it is not evident that s/he commits zina or livat.
Note 1- If the person who is the subject of the qazf is non-pubescent, insane, non-Muslim, or unspecified [by the offender], the offender shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir flogging of the sixth grade; however, it is not punishable to commit qazf against someone where it is evident that s/he commits zina or livat.
Note 2- In the commission of qazf against someone where it is evident that s/he commits zina or livat, if s/he is accused of what is not evident about him/her, shall be punishable by the hadd punishment, such as accusing someone of livat while it is evident that he commits zina.

Article 252- If a person, intending to accuse another person of zina or livat, uses different words than zina or livat which clearly accuse the addressee’s wife, father, mother, sister, brother, etc of zina or livat, the accuser, in regards to the accused person [i.e. the wife or mother or sister], shall be sentenced to the hadd punishment for qazf; and, in regards to the addressee who has been hurt by the accusation, [the accuser] shall be sentenced to the punishment prescribed for insult.

Article 253- Anyone who accuses another person of zina or livat which are not punishable by hadd, such as zina or livat under coercion or while s/he was non-pubescent, shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir flogging of the sixth degree.

Article 254- It shall not be punishable to attribute zina or livat to a person who has been convicted to the hadd punishment for the same zina or livat, provided that it is before the addressee repents.

Article 255- The hadd punishment prescribed for qazf is a haq-un-nas (claim of people) and its prosecution and execution of the punishment shall be subject to the request of the victim of the qazf. If the victim of the qazf forgives [the offender] at any stage, the prosecution, trial, and execution of the punishment, whichever is applicable, shall be ceased.

Article 256- When a person commits qazf against more than one person separately, s/he shall receive the hadd punishment for the qazf of each person separately, whether the victims ask for hadd punishment together or separately.

Article 257- When a person, in the same statement, commits qazf against more than one person, each victim can separately make a complaint and ask for execution of the punishments if given by the court. However, if the victims of the qazf make a [collective] complaint together, s/he shall be sentenced to only one hadd punishment.

Article 258- If [a person] commits qazf against another person one, or more, time(s), with the same or different accusation(s), before the hadd punishment is executed, only one hadd punishment shall be given; however, if s/he repeats the qazf after receiving the hadd punishment, the hadd punishment shall be repeated, and if s/he insists what s/he said was right, s/he shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir flogging of the sixth degree.

Article 259- If a father or parental grandfather commits qazf against his child [or grandchild] he shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir flogging of the sixth degree.

Article 260- The hadd punishment for qazf, if neither executed nor forgiven by the victim, shall be transferred to the heirs [after the victim’s death] but the wife or husband; and every one of the heirs can request the prosecution or execution of hadd punishment, although the rest of the heirs have forgiven.

Article 261- No matter at which stage the case is, the hadd punishment for qazf shall be removed in the following cases:
(a) When the victim confirms the person who committed the qazf.
(b) When what is attributed to the victim of the qazf is proved either by testimony of witnesses or knowledge of the judge.
(c) When the victim of the qazf, and the case of his/her death, his/her heirs, forgive(s) [the offender]
(d) When a man commits qazf against his wife and then carries out le’ān [imprecation; a specific religious procedure in which a husband accuses his wife of committing zina and imprecates himself if he lies. As a result their marriage shall be terminated] accusing her of a zina committed before or during the marriage.
(e) When two persons commit qazf against each other, whether their accusations are similar or different.
Note- The offenders of paragraph (e) shall be sentenced to thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir flogging of the sixth degree.

Next: Chapter 4 – Book 5 – Ta’azir and Deterring Punishments, Chapter 17 – Crimes against People and Children