Welcome to Kioumars Sepehri’s Official Website

Senior Advocate, Master of Law, Official Judicial Expert

In The Name Of God


Questions from Master Kioumars Sepehri

1. Please define torture in the Convention.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In answer to your question, I would like to point out that torture is defined in the Convention as follows: Torture in the context of this Convention to any intentional act that results in severe physical or mental pain or suffering against a person in order to obtain information or confession. He or a third party applies. Punishment of a person for an act committed or likely to be committed against him or a third party, or threatening or forcing him or a third party to be punished for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, is also considered torture. Of course, these acts are considered torture when they are carried out by government officials or at their instigation, silence, and consent. They are also not considered pain or suffering resulting from the punishment of torture. Therefore, there are three important points in this definition, one is physical harassment. The suffering of the person has been tortured, and the third point of torture, which is usually to obtain a confession and information from the victim, is provided for in this Convention.

2- Where is the place of torture in Iranian law?

In Iranian law, although there is no definition of torture, both the Constitution and ordinary law prohibit torture and consider it punishable, as Article 38 of the Constitution explicitly states: "any form of torture" for torture. Confession or obtaining information is "forbidden", forcing a person to testify, confess or swear is not allowed, and such testimony, confession and oath have no value or validity. Violators of this principle will be punished according to the law.

You see, this principle absolutely forbids any kind of torture, whether physical or mental, or both, and by any means and means. On the other hand, he has publicly stated that torture is forbidden to obtain a confession or information, and it does not matter whether the confession was obtained from the torturer himself or herself, because in no way has this confession or information been bound to the tortured person. On the other hand, at the end of this principle, the emphasis is on the punishment of the perpetrator and the offender according to the law.

3. Have ordinary laws served the purpose of the Constitution on torture?

From the point of view of the Constitution, it can be said that according to the provisions of this principle and considering the twenty-second principle, which has stipulated: "dignity, life, property, rights, housing and occupation are safe from aggression, except in cases prescribed by law." There is no problem in terms of principles and theory and compliance with international regulations, and we have advanced regulations. But that may be a problem for some people.

Article 578 of the Islamic Penal Code does not fully meet the purpose of the Constitution because this article stipulates that: Any employee or judicial or non-judicial official of the state in order to compel the accused to confess, harass and physically abuse him. In addition to retribution, the defendant will be sentenced to imprisonment from 6 months to three years, and if anyone has ordered in this regard, only the one who ordered the sentence will be sentenced to death, and if the accused dies due to harassment, the director will punish the killer. And the perpetrator will be punished by the murderer, who apparently will only be subject to corporal punishment. And psychological harassment has not been mentioned. Although some jurists consider mental torture to be prohibited and punishable under this article, in any case, by combining this article with Article 570 of the Islamic Penal Code and Articles 22, 32, 36, 37, 38, 38, 39 and 40 of the Constitution, the defect Article 578 can be easily removed, because Article 570 of the Islamic Penal Code stipulates that any official or government official who violates the law of personal liberty deprives people of their rights or deprives them of their constitutional rights in addition to dismissal. And a three- to five-year ban on government jobs will be punishable by six months to three years in prison.

There is no doubt that the dignity, life and rights of individuals are protected (Article 22) and the intolerance of any torture (both mental and physical) is also a right of Iranians, so violating these cases will definitely deprive them of these rights and the perpetrator will violate them. And it is punishable. It is worth mentioning that Article 38 and other principles mentioned above are mentioned in the third chapter of the Constitution, which is related to the "rights of the nation."

I would like to add that as Article 38 states, coercion of persons to martyrdom is also prohibited, so there is no problem in this regard, and in the Code of Judicial Procedure of General and Revolutionary Courts in Criminal Matters (Articles 86 and 159) under conditions of permission to summon and even arrest a witness. However, this does not mean that they are forced to testify, and the attraction of a witness depends on the fact that the realization of the right is suspended and subject to the witness. Of course, important crimes related to security and public order have also been allowed.

4. Are the rules of criminal procedure sufficient to deal with the crime of torture?

The crime of torture is similar to other crimes, and there are no specific rules for it, and the Convention does not provide for specific provisions in this regard, and in any case this offense and offense can be dealt with according to the relevant regulations, and There is no specific defect in the consideration of the trial, and by filing a complaint, the court will have a duty to investigate and investigate, and there will be no impediment to the trial.

5. What is the necessity or non-necessity of joining the convention?

In view of the above, Iran's accession to the Convention will not make much difference in terms of the rules and principles governing the case, perhaps the accession to this Convention will be more useful in terms of foreign policy and international credibility, and in terms of internal impact. Preventively, it may be helpful because the potential perpetrator may think that he or she has international control and consequences for him or her.

6- What is the training on how not to torture?

Firstly: although in general education and raising the level of knowledge and awareness of the task is desirable and there is no discussion on this issue, but it can be said, because torture is harassment and any person, even if he has not seen the slightest training, will definitely recognize that this It is not permissible, so the lack of special training does not seem to cause serious problems.

Secondly: in terms of Islamic culture and law, at a time not long ago in European countries and other countries, torture was considered a common and legitimate reason to confess and study, emphasizing human behavior even by prisoners of war who are enemies and at war. There have been, have been, and are, in the case of defendants in crimes, and evidence of crimes, much emphasis has been placed on the absence of any coercion and reluctance to confess. He has confessed that he did not have such an effect and that confession to the judge issuing the verdict is the criterion, and despite the slightest reluctance and compulsion, he confessed. The result is ineffective, and even in some cases with subsequent denial, the effect of the pre-confession is eliminated.

Thirdly: in law schools, many law courses are usually provided, especially for officers who will be employed in the judicial, disciplinary, and security disciplines, and this will be very useful if implemented well. Of course, the details should be asked of the relevant professors.

Fourthly: It seems that what causes the most problems is the personality, character and culture of some people in charge of affairs, which is also due to the family background and violent behavior of the parents with some small environments in which the person grew up. His personality is formed, he returns and this problem needs to be solved and, as the saying goes, it has its roots in culture, and this is while in terms of intellectual, theoretical and cultural foundations, Islamic and Iranian, many resources and There are rich and advanced foundations, but due to the problems that have arisen and the brutal imperial governments, many rich cultural foundations are in practice. And against the spread.

7- Is the involvement of the torture committee in the work of other governments and countries allowed?

In principle, interference in the work of any other state is not permitted. States and states are independent, but if the governments themselves make agreements under international and regional agreements, and give the authorities the authority to inspect and intervene, then intervention will be documented in the agreement.

Finally, it is important to note that although the main purpose and subject of the Convention is torture and its implications, some commentators consider the issue of punishments to be outside the scope of the Convention, but some experts consider that Not to mention the harsh and humiliating punishments, they have also discussed the punishments and believe that according to this article and according to the practical procedure of the Executive Committee of the Convention, member states should not implement harsh punishments and implement their laws with the Convention, and one of them. This seems to be the problem of joining the convention, because it is separate Addictions such as stoning and amputation (although very rare) may be seen by some countries and the Committee on Violent Torture, and therefore do not provide a basis for this (through the fatwas of the mujtahids and finding legal solutions. Jurisprudence, as in some cases, an interesting fatwa has been announced (the possibility of joining this convention is currently ruled out with this interpretation.