Nobel peace laureate Shrin Ebadi sharply condemned Iran’s new Islamic penal code which she believes is unfair to women and uses an “incorrect interpretation” of Islam. Iran’s parliament in September agreed to adopt new outlines of an Islamic penal code which is a modification of the Sharia-based law that has governed the nation since Muslim fundamentalists seized power in the 1970s. According to Ebadi, “the criminal laws adopted after the revolution unfortunately took away a woman’s human identity and turned her into a second-class being who is incapable and mentally-deranged.” Ms. Ebadi is an outspoken critic of the cleric run society of Iran.
The new penal code allows even harsher punishments such as flogging and execution for a variety of crimes. A male is punishable from the age of 15 and a girl from age 9. The law remains inflexible if an individual has violated Islamic law dealing with stealing, alcoholism, adultery and apostasy.