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EC approves bill on equal "blood-money" for non-Muslim Iranians

The Expediency Council (EC) on Saturday approved a Majlis bill on equal "blood-money", or diyeh, for Muslim and non-Muslim Iranian nationals, IRNA reported from Tehran.

EC Secretary Mohsen Rezaei told IRNA that under a state verdict by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's religious minorities can enjoy a "blood-money" equal to that of Muslims.

He said the EC had completed and clarified the bill that the supervisory Guardians Council (GC) had earlier rejected.

The GC in April had returned the bill to the Majlis, arguing that it contradicted the Sharia law (the law of Islam) because the amount of diyeh for recognized religious minorities in Iran is known in that law.

"If the Vali Faqih (the supreme jurisprudent) deems it right that a certain amount should be paid to the family of a non-Muslim victim in addition to his diyeh to equal that of a Muslim, we will act according to his directive," the GC had stressed in a letter to Majlis Speaker Mahdi Karroubi.

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 Islamic Sharia law.

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

Under the Sharia law, the family or relatives of a murdered person can either pardon the murderer or demand blood money or capital punishment.

... Payvand News - 12/27/03 ... --

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