Second Court Ruling in Favor of Equal Blood Money of Men and Women Issued

Sunday 22 July 2007

Translated by: Rahma Tohidi

Change for Equality: The final court ruling in May 2007, in the case of contaminated blood which caused HIV among hemophiliac patients included the allocation of equal blood money or dieh to 171 female plaintiffs. This is the second time such a ruling, which calls for the payment of equal blood money, subject to be paid when bodily injury has been committed, has included the payment of equal blood-money to women in line with what is paid to men, in Iranian courts. Based on Iranian law, blood money of women is valued half that of men. As such, this ruling is a significant accomplishment for those seeking equality of men and women under the law.

Upon release of this news, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs (haemophiliac patients), Ali Sabery, said: “taking into consideration that our dispute referred back to the Civil Law, in which there is no legislative article in regards to unequal blood-money of women and men, the Health Department and the blood transfusion organisation were obliged to pay equal amounts to all the plaintiffs”. Sabery, who is currently in the process of conducting a research project titled "The Equity of Blood-money for Women and Men” at Harvard University, continued by explaining that "apart from the theoretical issues and what some religious leaders and scholars believe, it is easily possible to defend the equal blood-money of women and men under Iran’s Civil Law.”

In this case, the term “people” is used in reference to the haemophiliac patients and there was no distinction made between women and men. It was on this basis that the men and women of this case obtained an equal amount in blood-money. Branch 15 of the appeals court responsible for the assessment of the order addressing the men and women of this case reasoned that, “although the issue of blood-money has been mentioned in Penal laws, in this court’s opinion the case has a civil nature. Because this is a compensation that is in accordance with the legislation of divine law, its implementation and redress is certain and guaranteed. It is for this reason that this case requires a civil application, and the court will examine the punishment and redress together.”

In Ali Sabery’s opinion, considering this recent development, as well as the legislation that calls for equal blood money for Muslim and non-Muslim men, it is quite possible that equal blood money for men and women will be passed into law.

After 10 years of pursuing the case of haemophiliac patients, which began in 1374 (1995) the final ruling by Judge Said Nairani’s with respect to payment of compensation by the health department, included 18 billion Tumans (1.9 million US dollars) in blood-money payments to the persons who received blood transfusions with blood products contaminated with AIDS and hepatitis virus in 1995. The first sentence of equal blood-money for men and women was issued in the first round of this case, where 88 female haemophiliac patients, were accorded equal blood money compensation for their suffering.

Read the article in Farsi


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