[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA)

[Date:] 6 Mordad 1398 [28 July 2019]

 

Nowrouzi Explaining the Agenda of the Judiciary Commission of the Assembly:

The Punishment for Perverse Sects Was Determined

The spokesperson of the Legal-Judicial Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly said, “According to today’s approved Bill, the punishment for perverse sects is determined.”

The Legal and Judicial Commission Graph

Hasan Nowrouzi, in an interview with the reporter of Khaneh-e Mellat [Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency], while describing today’s (Sunday, 6 Mordad [28 July 2019]) agenda of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly,  discussed the revision and approval of the general terms of the proposed legislation for the inclusion by the commission of two Supplementary Articles to the Islamic Penal Code. He said, “Two articles, as Article (699[1]) and Article (500), were added to Chapter One of the Book of Tazirat[2] of the Islamic Penal Code, ratified in 1375 [1996].

“According to Article 1, ‘Any individual or group [engaging in] extremist conduct, or takfiri[3] religious, ethnic or racial activities that are indicative of the formation of a sect, who causes hatred or violence among the followers of divine religions or the Islamic sects recognized by the Constitution or the tribes, will be sentenced to imprisonment or payment of a fine of the fourth degree, or both,  provided his conduct does not warrant the maximum penalty.’”

[Nowrouzi], the spokesperson of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, added that Article 1 has seven addenda. According to these addenda: “The leadership of any sect or organized criminal group that commits the crimes mentioned in this Article will face prosecution in accordance with Article (130) of the Islamic Penal Code. Commission of other criminal behaviour by the leaders or members of any sect or organized criminal group towards the fulfilment of their goals and plans will result in the maximum penalty specified for that crime in the law. Providing financial or any other form of material support to any sect or organized criminal group, with awareness of the nature of the group, shall result in the sentencing of real persons to imprisonment of the fifth degree and a fine from two to five times greater than the value of the support; the penalty for legal entities shall be in accordance with Paragraph A of Article 20, and Article 21 of the Islamic Penal Code. The connection of any sect or organized criminal group subject to this article with their central organization outside the country, for the purpose of receiving support or organizational guidance, unless subject to hadd[4], shall result in the maximum punishment stipulated for each case.”

He added, “The stipulated punishments in this article and other addenda are not subject to suspension, conditional release, statutes of limitation and such. All assets of any sect or criminal organized group subject to this Article, as well as the assets of their leaders and those providing financial support, shall be confiscated in favour of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In order to identify and determine sects, groups, diverting forces, and takfiri groups, and to define criminal acts subject to this article, the judge shall obtain the expert opinion of the Ministry of Intelligence, as the authority to fight against such takfiri and perverse groups, and that of the directorate of Qom Seminary.”

[Nowrouzi], the representative of the people of Robat Karim and Baharestan in the Tenth Assembly  said that, “According to Amended Article 2 of the Islamic Penal Code, heresy and deviating from Islam or conducting any educational training or deviant propaganda or any other deviant activities that are against or disrupt the sacred Islamic Sharia in a physical or virtual domain, and any psychological and physical dominance over human beings in the form of a sect or any organized criminal grouping, is considered a crime, and if the behaviour of the perpetrator does not fall within the hadd, [he/she] will be sentenced to either imprisonment or payment of a fine of the fifth degree, or both punishments, or deprivation of the civil/social rights.”

Nowrouzi added that, “Amended Article 2 has two addenda which, according to addendum 1, writing, printing, publishing, distributing, making available, or selling of the books, periodicals and articles or other publications that contain sectarian and criminal materials―the subject of this Article―or  possession and importation of such materials with the intent of distribution through physical or virtual domains and utilizing social media, satellites or home-based media services, distributing software or other mass media communication means, for the purpose of criminal activities subject of this article, are considered crime, and the perpetrators will be condemned to the minimum punishment stipulated in the provision of this Article.”

The spokesperson of the Legal Judicial Commission of the Assembly [Nowrouzi] explained that, “Also, addendum 2 includes the point that educational and research and similar activities that are intended to challenge, reject and respond to the misconceptions and criticisms of the perverse sects, or groups subject to this Article are not included in this law.”

He continued, “The approved general terms of the proposed legislation added to the two amended articles of the Islamic Penal Code will be referred to the specialized committee for further review.”  

He mentioned about the presence of the legal deputies of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Information and the experts of the Assembly’s Research Centre, in today’s meeting.

 

[1] [699: it should be 499 according to provisional translation of the same law]

[2] [Tazirat (discretionary punishment):  Punishments of certain offences whereby discretion is given to the judge, as per the Islamic Penal Code Book of Tazirat.]

[3] [Takfíri: Anti-Muslim apostasy]

[4] [Hadd (limit): Punishment of certain offences that are mandated and fixed by the Quran or Hadith as per the Islamic Penal Code Book of Hudud.]