The Guardian Council has approved the Islamic Penal Code legislation, announcing that it does not contradict the principles of Shari’a or the Islamic Republic constitution.

ISNA reports that Parliament made necessary reforms in the legislation, and the newly approved law will replace the former.

Experts report, however, that the newly approved legislation remains unchanged in terms of penal sentences like stoning, dismemberment and execution of minors, and gender discrimination persists in many of its articles.

The organization, Justice for Iran, said in an earlier statement that approval of this legislation would worsen the already dismal human rights situation in Iran.

“After years of criticism from Iranian and international societies regarding numerous points of blatant violation of human rights in Iranian laws, the Islamic Parliament is on the verge of approving legislation that not only disregards all the aforementioned criticism but in some cases makes the situation even worse,” Justice for Iran announced in an earlier statement.

In recent years, Iranian penal sentencing has caused great outrage both in and outside Iran, with stories of women sentenced to stoning for adultery, and minors sentenced to death who are executed after reaching adulthood behind bars. The rise in the number of executions in Iran has drawn criticism from human rights groups, who have called on the United Nations to make every effort to pressure the Islamic Republic into addressing these issues.