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Iran Official Says Those Who Knowingly Spread Coronavirus Must Be Hanged

A public transportation hub in Tehran, Iran. Coronavirus numbers still keep rising. Undated

A judicial official in Iran has threatened that knowingly spreading the coronavirus should be punishable by death, based on the Islamic principle of an eye for an eye.

A local news website quoted the Deputy of the Justice Minister for Human Rights and International affairs, Mahmoud Abbasi as saying, “Someone who is fully aware of his infection and without wearing a mask sneezes and coughs…spreads the coronavirus to others and ultimately causes their death. This means deliberate murder and is subject to Qisas”.

In Islamic law, relatives of a murder victim can demand Qisas, or an eye for an eye. Abbasi called for hanging offenders.

Abbasi added, “Restrictions and bans announced by the President must be implemented by everyone according to the constitution”.

Iran was the second hotspot after China for the coronavirus pandemic in the world, but hesitated in implementing social distancing and wearing masks obligatory. The pandemic in Iran started full force in February and began ebbing in May, when all restrictions were lifted. A second wave began in June and many regions of the country are facing a crisis.

After weeks of witnessing higher number of infections and deaths, officials began reinstituting restrictions last week.

Official government figures show 260,000 have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and more than 13,000 have dies. But many observers and local officials in Iran believe the official numbers to be too low.