Tomorrow, on May 6th it will be men’s day in Iran.
Men’s day is always different from women’s day in a lot of ways, but it has been particularly different in Iran.
On 4/10/2015, another women’s day arrived in Iran and like previous years, brought with it the acquittal and reduction of female prisoners’ sentences, provided that they meet the required conditions.
The requirements for women who are prisoners on women’s day and who wish to use the acquittal or reductions are:
- That if she also has a private plaintiff, he or she is compensated.
- That she has not committed a 1st degree to 5th degree crime while on parole.
- That she has not used the acquittal/reduction in previous years.
- That she has not been imprisoned on more than two occasions.
- That her crime is not in the following: armed robbery, armed drug and alcohol trafficking, weapon trafficking, treason, kidnapping, running a brothel, spying, acid attacks and disruption of the economic system.
Upon meeting the above conditions and for the sake of women’s day, the legal system:
- Acquits any woman with a sentence lower than six months
- Pardons half the sentence of women who had received between six months and five years.
- Pardons a third of the sentence of women who have received over five years.
- Acquits any woman who has been imprisoned for over ten years.
- Acquits any woman who has committed unintended crimes (such as manslaughter.)
- Acquits any woman with serious illness.
- Acquits any woman whose husband is also in prison or is executed. Furthermore, if a woman has a child’s custody, should she have a life sentence, it will be reduced to 8 years, and should she have a type two crime, the sentence will be reduced to a third should she have a crime of type three, it will be reduced by 75% to only a quarter.
- Acquits any woman in debtor’s prison if her debt is up to a billion Rials (approximately $33,000.)
- Pardons 80% of the sentence of any woman in debtor’s prison for debts higher than the aforementioned amount.
The sentence disparity in Iran is already pretty huge, a fact that can be observed by comparing the number of husband killings with number of women in prison for husband killing. Almost 1 fifth of all murders involve a husband who is killed by his wife whereas only around 4% of the prisoners of murder are there for husband killing. This low number of female prisoners of husband killings have been used by women’s groups to argue than husband killings are rare in Iran, while recent studies put the number of murders in which a woman single-handedly kills her husband at 6.8%. A study of spouse killings by Dr. Shahla Moazamy and Mohammad Ashury concluded that women who single-handedly kill their husbands only make a third of husband killings. In other cases, a husband-killer has assistance, usually from a man with whom she is having affair. This puts the total number of husbands killed by their wives at around 20% of all murders.
On the one hand, the sentence disparity can be observed in the fact that over 98% of those executed in Iran are men; on the other hand, while women continue to receive special consideration on women’s day, no such acquittals and reduction of sentences has been given out on men’s day.