Policy wonk digest – Iran

  • Iran executes the second largest number of people in the world (after China). There were more than three hundred executions last year.
  • There are some unusual opportunities for reprieves for death row inmates. You are likely to have your sentence commuted if you manage to memorise the Quoran. Family of victims of murder can also choose to pardon offenders, which they tend to do at the last minute when the noose is literally around the neck. Blood money paid from the family of the offender to the family of the victim is has a significant influence on pardons.
  • Iranian weeks and years are organised differently to ours. Weekends are Thursday/Friday with the Muslim holy day placed like our Sunday.
  • Date wise, today is 4 Mehr 1393. The calendar counts from when Muhammed migrated to Mecca. The twelve months correspond to signs of the zodiac. Each year begins with the autumnal equinox (20 or 21 March).
  • We’ve read that as well as the strict dress code for women, it is also illegal for men to wear neck ties. We can’t validate this, but we can say we’ve seen no one in a tie and none on sale in shops.
  • The morality police crack down on women not correctly wearing hejab at the beginning of each summer, when the oppressive heat might incline them to show just a little more skin.
  • Bus drivers have a gadget installed in their vehicles that records their speed. They have to stop every 100km to submit results to police to prove they’ve not been speeding. This seems overly frequent, but these counters are a very interesting idea and I wonder whey they haven’t had wider application.

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