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Iran: Supreme Leader will decide on "blood money" for non-Muslims - Guardian Council

The supervisory Guardian Council (GC) has once again rejected a Parliament (Majlis) bill on equal "blood money", or diyeh, for non-Muslim nationals, stressing that the fate of the issue is yet to be determined by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The Persian-language `Jomhouri-ye Eslami' on Tuesday highlighted a letter from the GC to the Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi as saying that the bill contradicts the Sharia law (the law of Islam) arguing that the amount of diyeh for recognized religious minorities in Iran is known in that law.

"If the Islamic Jurisprudence (the supreme leader) deems it right that a certain amount should be paid to the family of the a non-Muslim victim in addition to his diyeh to equal that of a Muslim, we will act according to his directive," read part of the letter.

The Parliament had first submitted the bill, which is an additional note to the Article 297 of Iran's Islamic Penal Code, to the GC in January, but the council later rejected it citing certain discrepancies with the Constitution and the Sharia of Islam.

Under the bill, the blood money for recognized religious minorities in Iran -- Jews, Christian and Zoroastrians -- has become equal to that for a Muslim Iranian.

The diyeh for a man in Iran is the value of his life in terms of 100 camels, 200 cows or 1,000 sheep which is each year set at a certain amount of money -- now at rials 180 million -- by the Judiciary in tune with the country's rising inflation.

The diyeh for women in the Islamic Republic is half that of men.

Under the Sharia law, the family or relatives of a murder victim can either claim diyeh, pardon the murderer or allow the punishment -- execution -- to go ahead.

... Payvand News - 4/15/03 ... --

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