In this session we’ll investigate the issue of abstract rights of prisoners with regard to Iran’s new Islamic penal code. In this first section we take up matters foreseen by the law for the protection of such rights. These are as follows:
1. The issue of punishment: intimidation of prisoners, isolation of dangerous inmates. Reform, training, and reeducation of criminals are authorized for those who have committed minor crimes and infractions; heavy punishments are allotted for purposes of excluding dangerous convicts from society.
2. Degree of severity of punishments. Bearing in mind prisoner’s abstract rights, legislators intensify or lessen punishments in light of the severity of a crime and the requirements of time and residency.
3. Principle of legality of crime and punishment and penal enforcement jurisdiction through time. In accordance with law, a judge ought to rule within a crime’s statute of limitations and respect the principle of non-retroactivity of a law.
4. Principle of individualizing the enforcement of punishment. Per this principle, effects of punishment should not extend to the families of prisoners. Measures such deprivation of liberty, fines, the closure of foundations and the civil concerns of inheritors, and the punishment of legal persons may in some way, however, involve immediate family or other relatives.
5. Principle of parity in punishments. As the session continues these thematized matters will be taken up as the first part of our investigation of abstract rights as they relate to political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.