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Iran ``blood money'' maximum set at $20,000

TEHRAN, May 17 (Reuters) - Iran has set a maximum of $20,000 for the ``blood money'' a killer can pay to his victim's family to avoid execution, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The government daily Iran said the judiciary set the cash value of diyeh, or blood money, at between 61 million and 162 million rials.

The latter amount is worth $20,000 on the black market, but equivalent to $54,000 at the official rate.

Despite annual increases to keep pace with inflation, the dollar value of blood money has declined since 1995, when the highest amount was equivalent to $21,100, because of the rial's fall against hard currencies.

Iran's penal code has kept an old Islamic definition of blood money as one of the following: 100 camels, 200 cows, 1,000 sheep, 200 silk dresses, 1,000 gold coins, or 10,000 silver coins. But authorities have set cash equivalents to simplify matters.

According to Islam, the family of a murder victim can accept blood money from the criminal to replace state punishment.

Blood money for a Moslem woman is half that of a man. Compensation for bodily injuries is set at a fraction of the full diyeh.

($1 - 8,100 rials at the black market rate)

($1 - 3,000 rials at the official exchange rate)


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