By Azadeh Karimi

The Guardian Council has approved an amendment bill that imposes longer prison sentences on people who carry out acid attacks, according to Abbasali Kadkhodaei, the Spokesman for the Guardian Council.

Mr. Kadkhodaei made the remarks in a tweet on October 23.

“In today’s meeting, the Guardian Council reviewed and ratified a bill calling for tougher punishments for acid attacks,” Kadkhodaei said. “The council determined that the bill did not violate religious values and articles of the Constitution. It has notified the Majlis [Iranian Parliament] of its decision.”

On May 20, the Majlis passed an amendment bill to the Crime Act that provided broader legal protection to survivors of acid attacks and increased the prison term for the perpetrators of the crime from 5 to 25 years.

The bill did not, however, ban the sale and purchase of acid and other dangerous corrosive substances.

Several survivors of acid attacks, who attended the Majlis hearings on the amendment bill, lobbied unsuccessfully for much harsher punishments, including life imprisonment for people who carry out such attacks.

According to Article 2 of the amendment bill to the Criminal Act, a person convicted of an acid attack but not sentenced to death must pay diya (financial compensation) to the victim and serve time in prison for:

  1. A) Aggravated assault with intent to cause bodily harm resulting in permanent scarring of the victim’s face carries a class-1 minimum mandatory prison sentence of 25 years.
  2. B) A criminal conviction in which the restitution awarded by the court to the victim is more than half of the official diya (set by the judiciary)carries a class-2 mandatory prison sentence of 15 to 25 years.
  3. P) A criminal conviction in which the restitutionawarded by the court to the victim does not go below one third or above half of the official diya carries a class-3 mandatory prison sentence of 10 to 15 years.
  4. T) A criminal conviction in which the restitutionawarded to the victim by the court does not exceed one-third of the official diya carries a class-4 mandatory prison sentence of 5 to 10 years.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]