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15th January

Grotesque Iran...

Human rights groups protest against Iran's barbaric punishments

Stoning scene from film Iran's penal code lays down the size of stones crowds should use to bludgeon adulterers to death, Amnesty International has discovered.

This regulation is specifically designed to increase the suffering of the victims, according to an Amnesty report.

Article 104 of the Iranian penal code states the stones used should not be large enough to kill the person by one or two strikes, nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones.

Although Iran imposed a moratorium on such executions in 2002, two people were stoned to death in 2006 and one last year. Nine women and two men are under sentence of death by stoning. More women suffer this punishment because evidence from a man carries twice as much weight as a woman's in Iran's courts.

Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty UK, said: Execution by stoning is a grotesque penalty which the Iranian authorities should abolish immediately.

Meanwhile Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi's rights group have also protested against the amputation of hands and feet as a punishment in Iran, warning of "new dimensions" in rights violations.

Unfortunately, the violation of human rights in Iran has not only been expanded in some fields, it has also found new dimensions, the group of human rights lawyers led by Ebadi said in a statement.

In the past days, several criminals in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan were sentenced to the amputation of hands and legs for actions against security, it said. And the verdict has also been carried out.


1st February

Update: Thrown Off a Cliff...

EU protests against Iran's barbaric punishments

Stoning scene from film In a declaration by the Presidency on January 25, the EU expresses concern over the executions in Iran and barbaric methods used to carry out death sentences.

The declaration denounced death sentences for juvenile offenders which are in total contravention of international norms and standards.

The EU is also deeply concerned by methods of execution used in Iran which fall below international standards for use of the death penalty and violate Iran's international human rights commitments (such as stoning). In this regard the EU is concerned that two men have been sentenced to death in Shiraz and face imminent execution by being 'thrown from a height' or ‘a cliff'. The EU calls on Iran to halt these executions and make a commitment not to apply such sentences in the future, the declaration stated.

The declaration which was also supported by 14 Candidate Countries to join the 27-nation European block reiterated, The EU condemns the increasing recourse to death sentences and executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to abolish the death penalty in line with the resolution endorsed on 18 December 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly, on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

In a statement on January 20, the Iranian Resistance's President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, strongly condemned escalation of barbaric violations of human rights in Iran, particularly the use of most inhuman methods of punishments and executions. In her statement she called on international and competent bodies not to keep silence over the unprecedented level of rights abuses by the mullahs' regime, and called it a crucial test for these bodies in circumstances where human rights and peace should be safeguarded.


2nd February

Learning about Barbarity...

Iranian teacher sentenced to death by stoning

Stoning scene from film An Iranian music teacher, Abdollah Farivar, has been sentenced to death by stoning, for having relations with one of his students.

Forty-nine year-old Farivar is married with two children.

The family of Farivar, insists that he did not commit adultery, since the teacher signed a timed marriage contract.

A timed marriage contract, or 'Sigheh' means a man and a woman enter into a legally binding, but temporary union, after agreeing on the length of the contract and the amount of compensation to be paid to the woman.

The contract has a background in Shia law and has been used as a measure for curbing prostitution and provides a way around Iran's restrictive laws that prevent pre-marital sexual relations.

The incident reportedly happened in the city of Sari, located in the northern Iran.


4th February

Stony Hearted...

Stoning barbarism continues in Iran

Stoning scene from film Two Iranian sisters convicted of adultery face being stoned to death after the supreme court upheld the death sentences against them.

The two were found guilty of adultery  after the husband of one sister presented video evidence showing them in the company of other men while he was away.

Branch 23 of the supreme court has confirmed the stoning sentence, said their lawyer, Jabbar Solati.

The penal court of Tehran province had already sentenced the sisters identified only as Zohreh, 27, and Azar (no age given) to stoning, the daily said.

Solati explained that the two sisters had initially been tried for "illegal relations" and received 99 lashes. However in a second trial they were convicted of "adultery."

The pair admitted they were in the video presented by the husband but argued that there was no adultery as none of the footage showed them engaged in a sexual act with other men.

There is no legal evidence whereby the judge could have the knowledge for issuing a stoning sentence, Solati said, adding that he had appealed to the state prosecutor. The two sisters have been tried twice for one crime, Solati protested.

The newspaper Etemad reported that the husband of the other sister, Azar, had not filed any complaint against her.


24th March

Update: Reprieved from Stoning...

Iran Woman under threat of stoning freed after 11 years in jail for adultery

Stoning scene in film An Iranian woman under threat of being stoned to death for adultery has been freed, her lawyer has said.

Mokarrameh Ebrahimi was released from prison in Qazvin province on the orders of Iran's judiciary's amnesty commission, said her lawyer Shadi Sadr.

Ms Ebrahimi's partner, Jafar Kiani, was stoned to death in July 2007, causing an international outcry.

The reasons for Ms Ebrahimi's release are unclear, but Ms Sadr said rights campaigns had certainly played a part.

Human and women's rights groups in Iran and abroad had lobbied to prevent Ms Ebrahimi sharing the same fate as her partner.

She was freed after a total of 11 years in custody. Ms Ebrahimi was reportedly freed along with the son she had by Kiani, and is said to have returned with him to her family in northern Iran.

Amnesty International says a total of 12 people - mainly women - are currently at risk of being stoned to death in Iran.


10th July

Heresy Against Civilisation...

Sudan court sentences man to stoning for heresy against islam

Stoning scene in film A Sudan court has sentenced a Sudanese citizen to death by stoning for heresy towards Islam.

The court gave the accused three days to repent and avoid the sentence.

This is the second time that a Sudanese citizen has been sentenced to death for heresy since 1983, when shari'a was implemented as the law of the land in Sudan.


21st July

Update: Humanity Falls on Stony Ground...

Nine Iranians sentenced to stoning for adultery

Stoning scene in film Nine people in Iran, eight women and one man, have been sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery in verdicts lawyers blame on a resurgence of hardline Islamic fundamentalism.

The sentences have been imposed in courts across the country despite a supposed moratorium on the punishment, which Iran says is justified under sharia law.

Lawyers say most of the nine have been victims of violence and are mostly too ill-educated to understand the charges against them.

Many of the sentences were handed down after hearings held in private without the presence of witnesses and defence lawyers.

Details of the sentences were disclosed by Iranian lawyers yesterday in Tehran as they attempted to generate international support for a campaign to force Iran's government to abolish stoning.

These women mostly come from the illiterate masses and did not have money or access to a lawyer. Many did not understand Farsi and, of course, all the interrogations were in Farsi, Shadi Sadr, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, told the Guardian. In all of the cases, there has been violence against them, or they have been forced into marriages, or their divorce applications have been refused. In some cases, they couldn't apply for a divorce due to family pressures.

They came to light after a group of Iranian lawyers embarked on a campaign to halt stoning, which has been condemned by international human rights groups. The lawyers are calling on Iran's judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, to issue pardons.

However, Shahroudi's influence in the current political climate is believed to be limited. Last year, he ordered a stay of execution for a man condemned to be stoned for adultery but local officials carried out the sentence in violation of his orders.


29th July

Update: Throwing Stones at Iran...

EU condemns Iran's 9 stoning sentences

Stoning scene in film The European Union's French presidency has condemned the planned stoning of eight women and one man sentenced to death for adultery, calling for a halt to their execution.

The European Union urges Iran to put an immediate stop to these executions and to commute the death sentences by stoning that have just been passed, the EU's French presidency said in a statement.

It said it was deeply concerned by the fate of the nine, stressing that Iran had pledged to introduce a moratorium on stoning.


6th August

Update: Not So Stony Hearted...

Iran says it will relent on stonings

Stoning scene in film Iran has placed a new moratorium on the execution of people by stoning, the country's judiciary has announced.

At least nine people in the country are believed to be facing the sentence for a range of offences including adultery, prostitution and incest.

The judiciary's spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said four sentences had been commuted - two will now face long prison sentences and the other two will be flogged.

In a few other cases, these people have asked for forgiveness and their request ... is under review, he said.


14th September

Update: Stoning On...

Iran still have prisoners awaiting execution by stoning

Stoning scene in filmA 30-year-old women prisoner identified as Gilan Mohammadi and an Afghan national, Gholamali Eskandari, are sentenced to death by stoning. Both are awaiting their sentences to be carried out in Isfahan prison central Iran.

Despite much smoke screening by the mullahs' judiciary last month regarding the commuting of all such rulings, there has not been any change made in these two cases.


28th October

Update: Pits of Humanity...

A Somalia stoning

Stoning scene from movieThousands of people gathered Monday to witness 50 Somali men stone a woman to death after an Islamic court in the southern port of Kismayo found her guilty of adultery.

Aisho Ibrahim Dhuhulow, who had been found guilty of extra-marital intercourse was buried in the ground up to her neck while the men pelted her head with rocks.

The execution was carried in one of the city's main squares.

This afternoon we are telling the people of Kismayo that we are practising a punishment that is rare in this region and was carried out in Kismayo for the first time, Sheikh Hayakallah said.

Cameras were banned from the public stoning but print and radio journalists were allowed to attend.


1st November

Update: The Shame of Humanity...

13 year old girl stoned to death in Somalia

Amnesty logoA girl stoned to death in Somalia this week was 13 years old, not 23, contrary to earlier news reports. She had been accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law.

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was killed on Monday 27 October, by a group of 50 men in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayu, in front of around 1,000 spectators.

Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander. An al-Shabab spokeperson was later reported to have apologized for the death of the child, and said the militia member would be punished.

At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue.

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was accused of adultery, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape to the al-Shabab militia who control Kismayo. It was this act that resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.


7th November

Update: Sham Humanity...

UN condemns Somalia over stoning of child

UN logoThe United Nations condemned the stoning to death of a 13-year-old girl in Somalia who was found guilty of adultery after she was raped while traveling to visit her grandmother.

Aisha Duhulow was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck and pelted with stones by 50 men in a stadium full of spectators in the southern port city of Kismayo, the UN Children's Fund, Unicef, said. She pleaded for her life before the Oct. 27 execution, it added.

Duhulow was raped by three men and asked prosecutors for protection after the attack, according to Unicef. Instead, she was sentenced to death. A child was victimized twice -- first by the perpetrators of the rape and then by those responsible for administering justice, Unicef representative for Somalia Christian Balslev-Olesen said in a statement.


30th November

Update: Blind Injustice...

Iranian sharia and the horror of an eye for an eye

Iran flagA jealous lover who blinded a woman with acid is also to be blinded with acid under the country's Islamic law.

A 27-year-old named only as Majid confessed to attacking Ameneh Bahrami in 2004 to dissuade anyone from marrying the woman he loved.

The ruling was issued based on the Islamic law system of 'qisas,' or eye for an eye retribution.

The reports say Ameneh asked the court to sentence Majid, who was only identified by his first name, to be blinded by acid to prevent similar attacks on other women.

Majid is allowed to appeal the verdict.

Stone Cold Evil

Based on article from

Iran's supreme court has confirmed a sentence of death by stoning against a woman convicted of adultery in the southern city of Shiraz.

The woman identified as Afsaneh R., was also given a second death sentence for murdering her husband with the help of a man identified only as Reza, who had an affair with her, Etemad Melli newspaper reported. It said Reza had also been sentenced to 100 lashes for having an illegitimate relationship and 15 years in jail for collaborating in murder.

The report said the supreme court had in August confirmed verdicts first issued in April.

In August, the judiciary said it had scrapped the punishment in Iran's new Islamic penal code, whose outlines have been adopted by the parliament but its details are yet to be debated by MPs before final approval and coming into effect.


4th January

Update: The Evil that Men Do...

Iranian court approves another stoning

Stoning scene from movieThe 27th Iranian Court District has approved of the stoning of a Afsaneh, woman from Shiraz, Iran.

The original stoning order of this woman came from the 5th Court District in Shiraz in Fars Province. It was then appealed to a higher court in the country, who approved the decision.

The court came to the conclusion that the defendant purposefully and consciously chose to commit murder. Her partner and accomplice to the murder, a man named Reza, was sentenced to 15 years in jail with 100 lashes.

The defendant's appeal to a higher court was rejected. This comes at a time when the spokesman for the Iranian Judiciary announced in a press conference that Iran would no longer enforce the law of stoning for any of the accused.

Gholamhossein Raesi, head of the Lawyers for Human Rights commission in the Fars province stated: This order was based on the 'knowledge' of 'feeling' of one Judge, and contradicts the law of Islam on punishments for adultery.

He explained that the crime of adultery could be proven two ways. First is based on the confession of the accused. The second is based on eye-witnesses. Therefore, according to law 99 in the Islamic criminal code, the judge's knowledge or feeling is illegitimate when trying the crime of adultery.


12th January

Update: Continuing Inhumanity...

2 men executed by stoning in Iran

Stoning scene from movieTwo men have been stoned to death for adultery at a cemetery in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad while a third escaped with his life, the Iranian newspaper Etemad Melli reported.

One of them named Mahmoud, an Afghan national, was able to save himself from the stoning hole with serious injuries, but two others died, it said.

Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi issued an ineffective directive in 2002 imposing a moratorium on such executions.

The group quoted by Etemad Melli voiced concern at the stoning sentence being carried out contrary to Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi's order and called on the authorities to put an end to this punishment.

Under Iran's Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning, which involves the public hurling of stones at the convict buried up to his waist. A woman is buried up to her shoulders. The convict is spared death if he can free himself from the hole.


20th January

Update: Pariah State...

Iran internationally condemned for recent stonings

EU flagThe European Union strongly condemns new cases of execution by stoning in the Islamic Republic of Iran

According to official confirmation and reports from other credible sources, three people were subject to execution by stoning in the city of Mashhad in the week beginning 21 December 2008. One of the three is reported to have managed to escape the stoning pit and survived. The other two were less fortunate and were stoned to death.

The European Union requests that the central authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran investigate this issue, and ensure that the practice of execution by stoning is effectively and permanently terminated in the country, in compliance with the International Covenant of Political and Civil Rights, which the Islamic Republic of Iran has signed and ratified, as well as the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons From Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 3452 of December 1975, which Iran has approved.

Based on article from

Amnesty logoAmnesty International condemned the execution by stoning of two men in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad that was carried out last month.

The London-based human rights group urged Iranian authorities to enact a law unequivocally banning stoning as a legal punishment.

Amnesty added: Pending the adoption of such a law, an immediate and effective moratorium on executions by stoning should be implemented.

Based on article from

US flagThe United States joined international condemnation of the stoning death of two men in Iran for adultery, demanding an end to such cruel and unusual punishment there.

The United States joins the international community in expressing concern about the inhumane practice of stoning in the Islamic Republic of Iran, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.

This cruel and unusual punishment is an inhumane practice that does not meet the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran has ratified. We call on Iran not only to permanently abolish the practice of stoning, but to offer all defendants fair and transparent trials.


21st January

Update: Slightly Less Barbaric...

Iran commutes stoning sentence to 100 lashes

Iran flagIran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi has commuted a sentence of stoning to death handed down to a woman convicted of adultery to 100 lashes.

The woman, identified as 48-year-old Kobra N, was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of her husband and engaging in an adulterous relationship. She was sentenced to eight years in prison for the first crime and stoning to death for the second.

The report said the woman served the eight-year jail sentence and was kept in prison for another five years awaiting the sentence of stoning to be carried out.

Ayatollah Shahrudi's decision to spare the woman leaves nine other people, seven women and two men, in Iranian prisons awaiting execution by stoning.

In August, the judiciary said it had scrapped the punishment in Iran's new Islamic penal code, whose outlines have been adopted by parliament but whose details are yet to be debated by MPs before final approval.


22nd January

Update: Less Barbaric by 2...

Sisters saved from stoning but others still facing death

Iran flagIhe Iranian judiciary is to free two sisters sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, after they were cleared of the charges in a retrial, a press report said today.

Sisters Zohreh and Azar Kabiri were arrested in February 2007 after the husband of one of them presented a film allegedly showing them with other men.

Last week Tehran penal court judges acquitted the two sisters of adultery in a retrial and they will be freed soon', the reformist Etemad daily said.

In August 2007 the two received 99 lashes for an illegitimate relationship' and were then freed. They were later rearrested and sentenced in November 2007 to death by stoning for adultery.

The verdict was halted after Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi said the video was not sufficient evidence for the ruling and that their living conditions had not been considered in the trial, the report said. Their lawyer argued that the defendants could not be tried twice for the same offence.

Zohreh and Azar's husbands had withdrawn their complaint, declaring that the women in the video footage were not their wives, Etemad said.

Based on article from

Gilan Mohammadi (female) and Gholamali Eskandari (male) are believed to have been detained since 2003. They are held in Esfahan Central Prison, in the centre of the country.

Amnesty International members are urging the authorities not to execute Gilan Mohammadi and Gholamali Eskandari and calling on them to order an immediate and effective moratorium on executions by stoning. The organisation is also urging the Iranian authorities to enact a law unequivocally banning stoning as a legal punishment.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: Stoning is a sickening punishment, specifically designed to maximise suffering. The Iranian authorities should abandon it immediately. We urge people in the UK to get behind the campaign within Iran to stop stoning forever, and to help us save Gilan Mohammadi and Gholamali Eskandari.


22nd February

Update: From Worse to Bad...

Iran commutes a stoning to hanging

HangingAn Iranian man who was sentenced to death by stoning after he was found guilty of having illicit relations with a teenage girl has been hanged.

Abdullah Fareivar, a 50-year-old music teacher, was hanged on Thursday in a prison in the northern town of Sari.

It said Fareivar was sentenced to death despite his family saying his relations with the 17-year-old girl were not illicit as he had entered into a contract marriage with her and that his first wife was aware of it.


26th February

Update: Stony Hearted...

Iran stoning pardon turned down

Stoning scene from movieThe Amnesty and Pardon Committee of Iran's Judiciary has rejected the request by its chief, Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, regarding the pardon for a woman sentenced to death by stoning, and instead emphasized that the sentence must be carried out.

According to Iran's Labor News Agency, ILNA, Ashraf K. was arrested on charges of adultery and complicity to commit murder in 2001, and one year later she was sentenced to stoning and 15 years imprisonment. Five years later, Shahroudi recommended that the stoning sentence be suspended and that instead she should serve the 15 year sentence.

In an interview with BBC Persian Service, Shadi Sadr, Ashraf K.'s defense attorney, said that the Amnesty and Pardon Committee of the Judiciary rejected Shahroudi's recommendation after two years, and voted for the stoning to be carried out, and that this has increased the likelihood that this sentence would be carried out.


27th February

Update: What is wrong in it?...

Extremist London councillor advocates stoning for adultery

Stoning scene from moviePoliticians in Brent are calling for the resignation of a councillor after he advocated the introduction of Sharia law for British Muslims on a website, including the death penalty for women who commit adultery.

Councillor Atiq Malik, (Not So Democratic Conservative Group), wrote two blogs, one on the UK Polling Report website and one on the Conservative Home website. Both read:

If Muslims living in the UK are happy that disputes be decided by Sharia courts then what?

The reason why male gets more share than women is that male members of the family have the responsibility to provide living expenses to female members of the family.

If an unmarried woman has an affair she is lashed 100 times. If a married woman has an affair she is stoned to death. What is wrong in it?

Politicians from different parties have been outraged by the remarks and believe he should step down from his post.

Councillor Ann John, leader of the Labour group, said: I was pretty shocked and I don't think he is fit to hold office. He should resign. He should be challenging his religion. It is disgusting.

To think that whipping and stoning women to death is okay is appalling. We live in a liberal and democratic society but we still have a long way to go. Saying that this is acceptable whether here or anywhere else is not right.

Councillor Bob Blackman, leader of Conservative group, said: We live in the UK and our system of law works well for us. We can tolerate people having different views but such extremism renders him unfit to be a politician. These comments confirm the wisdom of the group to expel him and if the group had not already told him to leave then it would do now.


9th March

Update: Still the Pits of Humanity...

Amnesty International highlights 8 women at risk of stoning in Iran

Amnesty logoAs many as eight woman are at imminent risk of being stoned to death for adultery in Iran, according to reports received by Amnesty International. The organisation is calling on the Iranian authorities to commute the sentences and to impose an immediate moratorium on stonings.

Ultimately Iran should abolish death by stoning completely and should stop executing people for the crime of adultery, said Amnesty. Serious failings in the Iranian justice system, which disproportionately affect women, commonly result in unfair trials in capital and other cases.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

Stoning people to death is an inhumane punishment, specifically designed to increase the suffering of the victim. The Iranian authorities should abolish stoning immediately, and should abandon the practice of executing people for committing adultery.

Women are not treated equally in Iran, in the home and in the courts, and this means that they are particularly at risk.

Women and men inside Iran are fighting for an end to this horrendous practice and in some cases they have met with success. But we must show them international support.

Ashraf Kalhori was scheduled to be stoned to death for adultery with her neighbour - a charge she now denies - in July 2006 but her execution was stayed. She was also sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for taking part in her husband's murder. Iranian media are now reporting that the Amnesty and Clemency Commission has rejected her plea and that her sentence could now be implemented at any time.

Another woman, known as Iran, is also at risk of execution by stoning. She was attacked by her husband when he saw her talking to the son of a neighbour, and while she was unconscious the neighbour's son killed her husband. Iran initially confessed to adultery during police interrogation, but later retracted her confession. A court in Khuzestan province sentenced Iran to five years' imprisonment for complicity in her husband's murder, and to death by stoning for adultery. The stoning sentence was overturned in June 2007 and she was retried, but was again sentenced to stoning. Her case has been before the Amnesty and Clemency Commission for over a year.

Anti-stoning campaigners in Iran have also highlighted the case of Khayrieh, who was sentenced to death in Khuzestan for complicity in the murder of her husband, and death by stoning for adultery. A relative of her husband, with whom she had an affair, murdered Khayrieh's husband, who was subjecting her to domestic violence. Khayrieh has denied any involvement in her husband's murder, but has acknowledged adultery and so is at risk of execution by stoning.

A woman known as Afsaneh R was also sentenced to stoning for adultery as well as to qesas ('retribution') for the murder of her husband, by a court in Fars, southern Iran, on 9 April 2008. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court on 4 August 2008, the same day on which Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi restated that executions by stoning in Iran were suspended.

Four other cases have also recently been discovered by anti-stoning campaigners in Iran. A woman known only as "H", and another identified only as "M.Kh" are both under sentence of stoning. An unnamed man and woman are also believed to be held under sentence of stoning in Tabriz Prison. Another woman and a man, Gilan Mohammadi and Gholamali Eskandari are also at risk of stoning, although Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said on 27 January that their cases were being reviewed.


24th April

Update: A Rasht of Barbarity...

Secret executions by stoning continue in Iran

Stoning scene from movieA man was secretly stoned to death in northern Iran in February and another man is only days away from facing a similar fate, The Tehran-based online daily Rooz has reported.

The report  said that in the case of the man who was stoned in the city of Rasht in February, judicial sources did not hand over the body to his family for burial to keep details of his execution from leaking to the press.

The main opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, citing ‘reliable sources’, said a man, identifed as Vali Azad was 'secretly' stoned to death in a prison in Rasht. It said that the stoning sentence, handed down by Judge Kashani, was carried out in a remote part of the yard of Lakan Prison in the presence of a few prison officials.

Rooz reported that another stoning sentence will be carried out in the coming days in Rasht. The judiciary in Gilan Province (northern Iran) is getting ready to carry out the sentence, which is a serious cause for concern among human rights activists, the report said. It identified the man awaiting the sentence as Mohammad Ali Navid Khamami.


13th May

Update: Commuted from Barbarity to Inhumanity...

Couple given 6 years and 700 lashes for adultery in Saudi

Stoning scene from movieA Sri Lankan couple sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia received a reduced sentence following an appeal filed by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

They were given a reduced sentence of 700 lashings and six years in prison for committing adultery, Deputy Foreign Minister Hussain Bhaila said.

The two suspects had been living together without being formally married.


23rd June

Update: Iran Seeing the Light?...

Iran suggests backing off from inhumane punishments

Iran flagIranian lawmakers are mooting legislation that would outlaw harsh punishment methods such as stoning and amputations, Iran's official news agency IRNA said on Monday.

Ali Sharokhi, who is the president of the Iranian judiciary commission said MPs are eyeing legal amendments to make illegal stoning, cutting off the hands of thieves, amongst other 'Islamic' punishments.

Currently, stoning, or lapidation is a legal punishment for crimes such as adultery, prostitution, and incest.


26th June

Update: Dramatic Condemnation...

New movie highlights Iranian injustice and the evil of stoning

The Soning of Soraya M. film posterAn Iranian woman is framed for adultery, then bound, gagged and buried to her waist in dirt before being stoned to death in a bloody and harrowing sequence in a new film in US cinemas this week.

The movie, The Stoning of Soraya M., is a dramatization based on the bestselling book of the same name by a French-Iranian journalist about a woman's death in an Iranian village in 1986.

The film aims to give a dramatic condemnation of the practice, which still occurs in countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, Nowrasteh told Reuters.

This is overdue and it has been too long suppressed as an issue for open discussion, said the US-born director, who is of Iranian descent and spent part of his childhood in Iran: Fundamentally this film is about injustice.

The film stars exiled Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, whose character tells a passing journalist the story of her murdered niece, who was framed for infidelity by her divorce-seeking husband.

Those who say the stoning in this film is graphic should see a real one, Aghdashloo said.


29th June

Update: Somali Pits of Humanity...

Somali man stoned to death

Somalia flagHardline Islamist militiamen in Somalia have stoned to death a man accused of raping and murdering a woman.

The execution took place in front of a large crowd in the town of Wanlaweyn, about 90km south of the capital Mogadishu.

The man was convicted by an unofficial court set up by the al-Shabab movement: This man was accused of raping and killing an 18-year-old girl in May this year. The court found him guilty of the charges brought against him, Sheikh Mohamed Saleban, a local al-Shabab official, told AFP news agency. He was a married man, which is why the court sentenced him to be stoned to death, he added, explaining that a rape conviction only incurs flogging.

Local resident Abdullahi Husein said most of the town's population turned out to watch the lynching, where gunmen banned cameras and mobile phones: Ten masked men from the al-Shabab forces stoned him to death in front of everyone. They had dug a hole, buried him to his neck before throwing stones at him, he told AFP.


10th August

Update: Stoning in Turkey...

Medieval realities of life parts of Turkey

Stoning scene from movieLast month a woman named Semse Allak was buried in a corner of a municipal cemetery in Turkey. She, unmarried and pregnant, had died from a stoning.

When she died on June 7, no-one from her family and relatives claimed her body and attended the funeral.

Villagers and local lawyers said Ms. Allak - as well as the man who had made her pregnant - had been killed to restore the 'honor' of their murderous families.

For seven months after her stoning, Ms. Allak lay semi-conscious, her skull crushed, unable to move or speak. Relatives visited once, in the beginning, to tell the hospital staff that they could not pay for her care. The fetus inside Ms. Allak died six weeks after the attack.

Just two days before Ms. Allak's funeral, the elected Parliament of this predominantly Muslim nation approved a sweeping human rights law that, among other things, abolished a provision that often reduced the prison terms for murders committed in the name of "family honor."

The legislation is part of a broader effort to secure Turkey's long-hoped-for admission to the European Union and, more profoundly, to answer the centuries-old question of Turkey's place in the world: whether in Europe or the Middle East.

The death of Ms. Allak underscores the distance between legislative pronouncements emanating from Ankara, Turkey's modern capital, and the sometimes grim, medieval realities of everyday life in other parts of the country.

"Honor is not a trivial thing," shouted Celilie Allak, Ms. Allak's sister-in-law, explaining the deaths. "What else were we supposed to do?"

Ms. Allak's brother, Mehmet, as well as four other relatives, have been charged in the murder of the man, Hila Acil, who was stoned to death at the same time in a field outside town. Despite last month's legislative changes, Mr. Allak's lawyer, Salih Demirkesen, said he was confident the local judges would understand.


25th August

Update: Still a Stone's Throw from Humanity...

Iranian set to be stoned despite supposed ban on the barbaric punishment

Stoning scene from movieAn Iranian man convicted of adultery is to be stoned to death despite a moratorium being agreed by the judiciary last year.

Naghi Ahmadi was sentenced to death by stoning in June last year in the northern city of Sari, after he visited a married woman's home in the night while her husband was away working in another city, the Sarmayeh newspaper reported.

According to Ahmadi's lawyer, the verdict was declared after the woman and his client confessed to their adultery. The report did not explain why the woman was not convicted.

A year ago the judiciary said it would scrap the punishment in Iran's new Islamic penal code.

The outlines of the moratorium have been adopted by the Tehran parliament but are yet to be debated by its members.


13th September

Updated: Indonesia Going Barbaric...

Aceh set to extend sharia with stoning for adultery

Stoning scene from movie Muslims in Indonesia's staunchly Islamic province of Aceh could be publicly stoned for committing adultery under a new law that the autonomous province's legislature is scheduled to pass next Monday.

With partial syariah law already in place under the autonomy accorded to end three decades of separatist conflict, Aceh looks set to take a giant and controversial step with the law, the Jakarta Globe reported.

The new legislation also mandates that single Muslims caught having premarital sex will get 100 lashes.

The plan has received support from some groups, but criticisms from others who said it might be illegal under Indonesian law. There is also the view that Aceh should be fixing its governance and not introducing such laws.

The plan will add to other laws already in place in some regions, pointing to creeping Islamisation in Indonesia.

The new Aceh punishments are part of a regional regulations Bill on local customs regarding Islamic crimes that the Aceh provincial legislature will endorse, said Raihan Iskandar, deputy chairman of the body.

Update: Barbaric Debate

13th September 2009. Based on article from

Indonesia's staunchly Muslim Aceh province asked provincial politicians to hold off including stoning to death as a punishment for married adulterers in a new bill set to pass into law.

Aceh's provincial parliament is scheduled to pass the new strict form of Islamic criminal law on Monday.

For the time being, we do not agree that stoning people to death should be included in the punishment for married adulterers, Aceh provincial secretary Husni Bahri Top said: There should be an in-depth assessment based on various sources in the Koran, opinions from Islamic preachers and an assessment of the techniques for how to implement it.

The bill currently stipulates that unmarried people who commit adultery should be caned one hundred times and married people should be stoned to death.


15th September

Update: Indonesia Goes Barbaric...

Aceh to introduce stoning for adultery

Stoning scene from movie MPs have passed a law to stone to death married adulterers in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

The law, which will come into effect in 30 days, also decrees that homosexuals could be caned and jailed for eight years.

Those convicted of rape or consuming alcohol could be face up to 200 lashes of the cane meted out in public.

The 69-seat house in the semi-autonomous province voiced no reservations over the new law, an extension of the Sharia code already in force.

The new law imposes tough sentences and fines, to be paid in kilograms of gold, for rape and paedophilia.

But the most severe article was on adultery, which orders that offending married couples can be punished by at least 100 lashes, up to the harshest punishment of being stoned to death.

The provincial government initially proposed the new law, but now opposes some of the new clauses added by parliament.

But Bustanul Arifin, secretary of Aceh parliament's special committee for drafting the law, and a member of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), was unrepentant: We feel that it is time now for people to understand the real meaning of Sharia .


18th September

Update: Cruel Justice...

Calls for Indonesia to review barbaric laws

Amnesty logo A new Indonesian bylaw that endorses stoning to death for adultery and caning of up to 100 lashes for homosexuality should be repealed immediately, Amnesty International have said.

The new criminal bylaw flies in the face of international human rights law as well as provisions of the Indonesian constitution, said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director: Stoning to death is particularly cruel and constitutes torture, which is absolutely forbidden under all circumstances in international law.

Indonesia's central government has indicated that the law may contravene Indonesia's existing human rights protections under the country's constitution.

We welcome the concerns expressed by different levels of the Indonesian government about these laws, Zarifi said: But the proof is in the doing, and as long as these laws stay on the books they pose a serious threat to Indonesia's international human rights obligations.

Amnesty International has urged Aceh's newly elected legislature, due to take office in October, to repeal the law as matter of urgent priority. Amnesty International has also called on the new legislature to ensure that all local regulations in Aceh are in full conformity with international human rights law and standards.

Supreme Court Review

Based on article from

Indonesia flag Indonesia's Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto says the government will ask the Supreme Court to review the Islamic criminal code newly-endorsed in Aceh, which condemns adulterers to death by stoning.

Mardiyanto said that he was coordinating with Justice and Human Rights Minister Andi Mattalatta, who is scrutinizing contentious articles in the bylaw endorsed by the Aceh legislative council.

The government and the public can voice their objections to the qanun [sharia bylaw]; they can demand the Supreme Court review the bylaw if they consider it wrong or improper. The government will no doubt do that, Mardiyanto said.

Aceh is part of Indonesia, so it must respect the Constitution and the laws of the country. And remember, Aceh should not be issuing bylaws that are detrimental to its people. Investors will refuse to come, people will be afraid to visit Aceh... They have to take those things into account.


29th September

Update: Stones on Hold...

Aceh government refuse to sign sharia stoning law

Indonesia flag The Aceh provincial government will not sign the controversial Islamic bylaw allowing adulterers to be stoned to death, an official said. Hamid Zein, the head of the legal bureau of the Aceh governor's office, said that the administration had firmly rejected the bylaw passed by the legislative council on Monday.

As long as the executive and legislative bodies do not settle differences in the application of capital punishment by stoning, the Aceh government will not sign the bylaw, Hamid said.

In the deliberation he said government representatives had repeatedly stated objections to the inclusion of the stoning penalty for adulterers in the Islamic criminal code (jinayat). Aceh is the country's only province with special provisions allowing it to have Islamic sharia-based laws.

However, following initial endorsement of the bylaw, Home Minister Mardiyanto said the government would file a review to the Supreme Court, saying the bylaw was detrimental to the Acehnese and would frighten visitors and investors, as well as possibly not respecting the national Constitution.

Update: Human Rights Watch Unimpressed by Torture in Indonesia

13th October 2009. See article from

Human Rights watch logo A new criminal bylaw passed by the provincial parliament of Aceh imposes torture, violates basic rights to privacy, and fails to protect victims of sexual violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the Indonesian government to review and reject all provisions relating to the death penalty, stoning, and flogging, and called on the Ministry of Home Affairs to overturn the law immediately.

Stoning and flogging constitute torture in any circumstances, said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. Imposing these draconian punishments on private, consensual conduct means the government can dictate people's intimate lives.

In addition to criminalizing all sex outside of marriage, the new law fails to criminalize marital rape and introduces discriminatory and unjust evidentiary requirements to prove rape. In doing so, the law places sexual assault victims at risk of being punished for engaging in illegal sexual conduct, instead of providing victims of violence or abuse with clear channels for redress.

The new Aceh law flies in the face of the Indonesian Constitution, which confers an irrevocable right to freedom from torture, Pearson said. Further, Indonesian national law does not criminalize consensual homosexual conduct or recognize stoning as punishment for any crime.

The law violates fundamental principles of international human rights, including the rights to life and freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, protected in articles 6 and 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The UN Committee Against Torture, which monitors the implementation of the Convention Against Torture, has unconditionally recognized stoning and flogging as torture. Indonesia ratified the Convention Against Torture in 1998 and acceded to the convention in 2006. Aceh's Islamic Criminal Code directly contravenes Indonesia's obligations under these conventions.

Human Rights Watch also called on the national government and the new Acehnese parliament to reject the proposed criminalization of consensual sexual conduct among adults, including homosexual, premarital, and extramarital sexual conduct. It is incumbent upon the Indonesian government to stand up for the rights of all its people and reject these measures, Pearson said.


6th October

Update: Freed from the Pits of Humanity...

Iranian man and woman escape stoning on appeal

Stoning scene from movieAn Iranian man and woman convicted of adultery and who faced death by stoning have been freed on appeal after spending six years behind bars, ILNA news agency has reported.

It said that Gholam Ali Eskandari and Gilan Mohammadi were released in the central city of Isfahan after their defence lawyers won the appeal.

In August 2008, the judiciary said it would scrap stoning as a punishment in Iran's new Islamic penal code, the outlines of which have been adopted by parliament the details have yet to be debated by MPs.


16th October

Update: Stones on Hold...

Indonesian government signal that stoning law will be unacceptable

Indonesia flagA new law to fatally stone adulterers is unlikely to survive government review in Indonesia, but it highlights the latest push toward stricter Islamic law in the semi-autonomous Aceh province.

The law was unanimously rushed through the provincial parliament last month by outgoing lawmakers, who are part of the hardline Prosperous Justice Party. In addition to the death sentence for adultery, it calls for the public flogging of homosexuals.The law also dismisses a rape victim's claims unless she can provide four male witnesses to the assault.

It is very unlikely the law will be implemented, foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said this week. The governor has already made it clear he won't support the legislation. T he new sharia law contravenes national law and can be overturned if the province doesn't act first, Faizasyah said.

First, I don't think the local government will approve the legislation, he said. Second, if there is approval -- and we're talking 'if' -- it still can't be implemented if it contradicts legislation at the national level.

The province on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra has long enjoyed relative autonomy from the central government. It was permitted to adopt a semi-independent legal system in the early 2000s on the condition that it give up its demand for independence after a 30-year insurgency.


8th November

Update: Inhumanity in Somalia...

Man stoned to death for adultery

Somalia flagIslamists in southern Somalia have stoned a man to death for adultery but 'spared' his pregnant girlfriend until she gives birth.

Abas Hussein Abdirahman, 33, was killed in front of a crowd of some 300 people in the port town of Merka.

He was screaming and blood was pouring from his head during the stoning. After seven minutes he stopped moving, an eyewitness told the BBC.

An official from the al-Shabab group said the woman would be killed after she has had her baby.

Islamist groups run much of southern Somalia, while the UN-backed government only control parts of the capital.

Al-Shabab official Sheikh Suldan Aala Mohamed claimed Abdirahman had confessed to adultery before an Islamic court.


11th November

Update: Human Rights Defender's Tulip...

Award for woman helping Iranians in danger of stoning

Human Rights Defenders Tulip Shadi Sadr has helped Iranian women with free legal assistance and has started a campaign against stoning.

She's been awarded one of the foremost Dutch human rights prizes, the Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award. But not before experiencing the regime's violence against women first-hand.

They beat me and forced me to go with them , Shadi Sadr tells Dutch radio. She was detained last July in the wake of popular protests against president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and brought to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. Her interrogators knew exactly who she was.

In 2004, Sadr had founded Raahi: an organisation for women in legal trouble. Because Iranian women have few rights and even less independent access to funds, they're often helpless in court. Raahi offered them free legal assistance, until the authorities closed it down.

She began a campaign to defend women who are sentenced to stoning , she says. Because the victims of this traditional - and in the eyes of many barbaric - form of punishment are almost never men.

When she was detained in July, her interrogators at Evin Prison accused her of being controlled by foreign powers out to overthrow president Ahmadinejad.

The Dutch government has awarded her the Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award for her extraordinary courage . But, she says, it's not just her struggle that's being recognized in this way.

She dedicates the award - which she received from Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen in The Hague - to all the people in Iran who fight every day to get their rights. Despite the fact that the protests against the president's re-election were crushed, she remains optimistic.

Projects The Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award comes with a stipend of 10,000 euros. In addition, it includes funding of up to 100,000 euros for projects proposed by the winner, to further promote her or his cause.


19th November

Update: Depths of Humanity...

Somali woman stoned to death for adultery

Somalia flagA Somali woman was stoned to death after being found guilty of adultery in breach of Islamic law.

Halima Ibrahim Abdirahman, a 29-year-old married woman, was executed after confessing to having had sex with a 20-year-old unmarried man, Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Abdirahman, the judge at her trial, told spectators at the execution yesterday at Eelboon in southern Somalia.

The 20-year-old man, who was unidentified, was sentenced to 100 lashes, Sheikh Ibrahim said.


25th November

Update: Stoning Parties...

Iranian swingers arrested and now face death by stoning

Iran flagIran's Revolutionary Guards, have struck again, arresting 12 couples for illicit sexual acts after it was found that they had been swinging.

The moral police came across Iran Multiplied, a website that features a number of couples involved in swinging, multiple partnered sex, and other acts considered illicit and illegal in the region.

Most are faculty at local universities, such as professors, and others work for the government. Many have children.

If found guilty, all 24 people face death by stoning for adultery.


27th November

Update: Inhuman and Cruel...

The EU condemns stoning in Somalia

EU flagThe European Union (EU) has condemned the recent executions in Al Shabab, Somalia, carried out by stoning.

In a press statement, the EU said that a woman accused of adultery and a man were stoned to death in Wajid and Merka, adding that under no circumstances should such accused persons be put to death.

The EU considers stoning as inhuman and cruel , and calls on Somali authorities to abolish it and respect human rights as well as international humanitarian law.

Update: UN Expert Condemnation

30th November 2009. See article from

The Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari, on Friday condemned the series of stonings that have been taking place in Somalia, and called on all parties to immediately refrain from and abolish the practice of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments, including stoning, amputations, floggings, and other unlawful acts of torture and murder.

I would like to extend my solidarity and sympathy to the Somali people in view of the deteriorating human rights situation in the country including the summary executions, floggings and stoning to death carried out in public by Islamist armed groups in South and Central Somalia, Dr. Bari said.


12th December

Update: Stoning Still Law...

Barbarism in Indonesia still not challenged

Indonesia flagThe National Commission on Violence Against Women urged the government to review a number of sharia-based bylaws deemed discriminative against women as part of its first 100-days program.

Commission chairwoman Kamala Chandra Kirana told The Jakarta Post such bylaws violated the Constitution, and that the central government was responsible for amending them so they adhered to the Constitution.

As Indonesians, we are bound by the social contract inscribed in the Constitution, which clearly mentions non-discrimination among its main principles, Kamala said.

Special or regular *regional* autonomy should not lead to legislation that strays from the basic principles. The central government has a role to safeguard the consistency between national and regional law, she added.

By prioritizing the harmonization of local regulations with those at the national level, the new government could include the reviewing of discriminative bylaws into the program, Kamala suggested. The most dramatic of such bylaws, she said, is the Islamic criminal code bylaw passed in September by Aceh's legislative council, which introduced stoning and caning as punishment for adulterous acts.

The punishments have never appeared in national law and are actually controversial in Aceh itself. But it was still endorsed because there are many political interests involved, she said.


15th December

Update: Stoning in Somalia...

Scourge of humanity

Somalia flagSomalia's hardline muslim group Hezb al-Islam killed two men in front of hundreds of residents in the district of Afgoye, officials and witnesses said.

Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim accused of adultery, was stoned to death by dozens of militants from the group and Ahmed Mohamoud Awale was executed by firing squad for murder.

It was the first time Hezb al-Islam had carried out such executions, usually their  the Shebab order amputations, executions and stonings in the name of Sharia law.

He was screaming, blood was coming from his head and his body , Adan Nurkey who witnessed the stoning told AFP, he died very quickly after being hit by a big stone , another witness, Mohamud Ashur said.

The 15-year-old girl with whom the man was accused of having a sexual relations received a hundred lashes, she escaped the death penalty because she was not married at the time.


16th January

Update: Pits of Humanity...

Iranian inhumanity continues with more stoning sentences

Iran flagA court in Iran's West Azarbaijan Province has upheld the sentence of death by stoning for two Azeri Iranians, the Human Rights Activists News Agency has reported.

The two defendants, identified as Sarimeh Ebadi and Booali Janfeshani were convicted of adultery, the report said. Both are said to be currently behind bars in the northwestern city of Orumieyh.

According to the report, an appeals court upheld the sentence on 6 January.

Despite a 2002 directive by then-Judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, imposing a moratorium on the punishment, at least five people in Iran have been stoned to death, as the directive has no legal weight and judges are free to ignore it, according to Amnesty International.


18th January

Update: Barbarism in Somalia...

Another death by stoning

Somalia flagShabab muslim extremists in Somalia have stoned a young man to death in the southern coastal city of Barawe late on Sunday.

A regional court sentenced the Hussein Ibrahim Mohamed to be stoned to death for raping a girl mothered by his sister, according to an unidentified Islamist commander who was talking to a crowd of people as the 26 year old man was being stoned late on Sunday.

At least two hundred people in the city of Barawe gathered at open ground in the city center to watch how the execution was being carried out, but some residents say they were compelled to watch the killing.

It was not our intention to watch such very shocking incident, but we were ordered to do so and I am sorry that I have watched the killing of the young man whom I knew for more than ten years a resident who demanded anonymity said by telephone from the city.


13th May

Update: Stone Age Justice...

Man sentenced to death by stoning in Nigeria

Nigeria flagA Shari'ah court in, Bauchi State,Nigeria has sentenced a 35-year-old man, Sani Sallau, to death by stoning for having sexual intercourse with a minor.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused was arraigned before the court by hisba officials (religious police).

The prosecutor, Mohammed Abdullahi, a hisba official, told the court that the accused person was caught having an affair with the almajiri . He said the accused was charged with sodomy, which contravened the Shari'ah law being enforced in the state.

Sallau pleaded guilty as charged. The judge, Muhammad Muhammad, ordered the accused be stoned to death since he had confessed to the offence, in line with the provision of the Shari'ah law.


20th July

Update: More Inhumanity...

Another pending stoning in Iran

Stoning scene from movieAn Iranian teen is reportedly awaiting execution by stoning after she was charged with adultery less than a year after her forced marriage to an older man.

Azar Bagheri, who was married at age 14, has been languishing on death row for the past four years while Iranian courts wait for her to turn 18, when the sentence can be carried out, The Australian Sunday Times reported.

Mina Ahadi, an Iranian human rights activist, told the newspaper that Bagheri was denounced by her husband after he accused her of committing adultery with two men.

Bagheri has been subjected to two mock stonings, the newspaper reported, during which she was removed from her cell at Tabiz prison in northwest Iran and buried up to her shoulders as if being prepared to be pelted to death by stones.

Bagheri's attorneys, according to the report, are now planning to ask judges to reduce her sentence to 99 lashes.


22nd July

Update: Failed Humanity...

Couple sentenced to stoning in Pakistan

Pakistan flagA couple have been sentenced to be stoned to death for alleged adultery by a tribal court in north-west Pakistan, with the woman's life now considered in grave danger.

The man involved, Zarkat Khan, has run away while the woman is in the custody of the court.

The death sentence, handed down in Manjakot village last month, will be carried out once the man is found, a member of the tribal court said.

The woman, whose name is being withheld at the request of human rights groups, is being held in a nearby village, according to campaigners. She is married and believed to have three children.

Maroof Khan, who said he sat on the tribal court, or jirga, that heard the case said the couple were guilty and must be punished. He said they would be shot, not stoned: We burned down the man's house, as is our tradition, he said. When we get hold of them, we'll kill them, there's no doubt about that. It was a clear-cut case. This is our custom. We will just shoot them. Finished.

The local government administration confirmed that the jirga had passed a verdict of stoning to death, or sangsar as it is locally known, but claimed that it had interceded and the couple were now in safe hands.


31st July

Updated: Humanity Ebbs...

Imminent stoning in Iran

Iran flagAn Iranian woman convicted of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning.

Sakineh Mohamamadi e Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, was accused of having extramarital relations with two men who ended up killing her husband.

Infidelity is illegal in Iran, and usually punished with lashes and prison time. While the Iranian penal code allows for the death sentence in infidelity cases, execution by stoning is rare.

The case began in 2005 when Ashtiani was arrested for having illicit relationships. She was convicted by a local court a year later and sentenced to 99 lashes and an unknown amount of time in prison, where she has remained since.

Following the original case, however, Ashtiani and her boyfriends were accused of murdering her husband. Ashtiani was convicted and sentenced to death by stoning.

She has denied any wrongdoing but reportedly asked local authorities for a pardon, stating simply If I have done any wrong, I repent. The request for clemency was denied.

Update: EU speak out against stoning

7th July 2010. Based on article from

EU flagWhile Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her attorney wait anxiously to see whether Iranian authorities carry out the sentence of death by stoning for adultery, worldwide pressure continues to mount to halt the execution, with the European Union the latest to speak out.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has called on Iran to halt the stoning of Ashtiani along with two other scheduled executions. Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to hanging for a murder he committed as a minor, and Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurd, is awaiting execution as an enemy of God.

Ashton had especially harsh words for Ashtiani's punishment, calling stoning a particularly cruel method of execution which amounts to torture. She also noted that Ashtiani's and Haddadi.'s exedcutions violate international conventions on civil, political, and children's rights.

Comment: Stop Stoning and Sharia Laws!

7th July 2010. By Maryam Namazie
See also

stop stoning messages 11 July is the International Day against Stoning – a day we would do well to mark especially given that Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani faces imminent death by stoning for adultery.

Appealing on her behalf, her two children have said: Today we reach out to the people of the world. It is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived of motherly love. Is the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing?

Don't stand by and watch. Let's end this once and for all.

To show your condemnation against stoning and support for Sakine, during the week of 5-11 July, take stones to your city centres , universities, media outlets, workplaces… and put them in a public place, with a message in support of Sakine and against stoning and executions. See also

With daily reports of such brutality, some will still not stop asserting that Sharia law is misunderstood and wrongly associated with medieval punishments - yet this is what Sharia's penal code demands. The image of Sharia law is draconian because the reality is such.

Update: Stoning Cancelled

9th July 2010. Based on article from

Iran flagThe authorities in Iran have announced that a woman convicted of adultery will not be stoned to death.

But it is not clear whether they have lifted the death sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been in prison in Tabriz since 2006.

There has been an international campaign to prevent her being stoned.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said stoning was a medieval punishment and that its continued use showed Iran's disregard for human rights. If the punishment is carried out, it will disgust and appal the watching world, he told a news conference in London.

Offsite: 15 more cases

9th July 2010. See article from

Twelve Iranian women and three men are on death row awaiting execution by stoning despite an apparent last-minute reprieve for a mother of two who had been facing the horrific sentence after being convicted of adultery.

...Read the full article

Update: No Stoning But...

10th July 2010. Based on article from

Iran flagSakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani will not be stoned, the regime has said, but now her family fear she will be hanged instead

Iran has also imposed a media blackout over the case of a 43-year-old mother of two who was sentenced to be stoned to death and whose fate is still unclear despite an apparent reprieve .

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is still facing execution by hanging after being convicted of adultery, her son told the Guardian today.

Newspapers, agencies and TV channels in Iran have been banned from reporting Mohammadi Ashtiani's death sentence, despite an international campaign launched by her children, which has been joined by politicians and celebrities from all over the world.

Last night the Iranian embassy in London issued an opaque statement saying that Mohammadi Ashtiani would not be stoned to death. According to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran, she will not be executed by stoning punishment, it said.

Update: Under Pressure

24th July 2010.  Based on article from

sakineh ashtianiIran has put fresh pressure on the woman it last month sentenced to death by stoning, demanding the names of those involved in the campaign for her release.

The case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has drawn international attention after her children launched a campaign for her release. After a global outcry last month, Iran's judiciary said Sakineh would not be put to death by stoning, but still faced execution by hanging.

Ashtiani has been interrogated inside Tabriz prison over the names of the people who have been in touch with her family and the way her photo has been distributed among the media, the Guardian has learned.

Sakineh's photo, which has been distributed all over the world, has become a defining image for human rights activists campaigning against stoning in Iran.

Sakineh has been under big pressure since the world has paid attention to her case , a source close to her family told the Guardian. Recently she was questioned and asked to advise her children to remain silent, otherwise they will be arrested too. International attention is the only hope for Sakineh's release , the source added.

Update: London Rallies to Ashtiani's cause

26th July 2010. Based on article from

Ragged Union JackA rally has been held in London to protest over a woman sentenced to death for adultery in Iran.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was originally told she would be killed by stoning, but the penalty was put on hold following international anger.

Human rights campaigners gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, to protest against medievalism and barbarity .

They called on the international community to make the world stand still over Ashtiani's treatment.

Demonstrators in Trafalgar Square waved placards reading: Turn all stones towards the Islamic regime of Iran .

Others at the event on Saturday held banners calling for the abolition of the death penalty, while members of the public signed a petition against the punishment.

Campaigners said similar demonstrations were being held in more than 30 countries to put pressure on Iran in the hope of securing the release of Ashtiani, who has been in jail in the north-western city of Tabriz since 2005.

Update: Ashtiani's Lawyer Arrested

26th July 2010. Based on article from

Iran flagThe lawyer of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who faced death by stoning, now faces re-arrest and his wife and brother-in-law have also been held by Iran's authorities.

Authorities in Iran have issued an arrest warrant for an acclaimed Iranian lawyer and arrested his wife and brother-in-law over his involvement in the case of a woman sentenced to death by stoning.

Lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei's office in Tehran was ransacked, and he was interrogated in Evin prison for four hours on Saturday over his human rights activities and involvement in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

He was released, then called back for further questioning before being set free. Authorities then issued an arrest warrant. When they were unable to find him the authorities arrested his wife, Fereshteh Halimi and her brother Farhad Halimi to try to force him to surrender. However, it is still unclear whether Mostafaei has been arrested or he has managed to evade officials.

Mostafaei is not a normal lawyer, he is also a human rights activist and he has represented several stoning cases and juvenile offenders in Iran, said Soheila Vahdati, an Iranian activist who is based in California.

Mostafaei writes regularly for Iranian media and his blog and his role in making Iranians aware of the human rights abuses in Iran has made it difficult for the Iranian regime to tolerate him anymore, she said.

Update: Hanging

31st July 2010. Based on article from

sakineh ashtianiThe Iranian woman whose sentence of death by stoning was commuted to hanging after an international campaign, has sent a message from inside Tabriz prison calling for further support so that she might be reunited with her children.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, said she thinks of nothing other than hugging her children and that she was mentally broken when authorities flogged her 99 times in front of her then 17-year-old son, Sajad.

She thanked the world for launching the campaign for her release but said part of her heart is frozen . Every night before I go to sleep, I think who would throw stones at me? , she said.

The message was read by Mina Ahadi, of the Iran Committee against Stoning (ICAS), at a press conference in Conway Hall, in London, this morning .

At the conference, ICAS presented a document showing Mohammadi Ashtiani had in fact been convicted of adultery. She was originally sentenced to 99 lashes, but her case was reopened when a court in Tabriz suspected her of murdering her husband. She was acquitted, but the adultery charge was reviewed and the death by stoning sentence handed down on the basis of judge's knowledge .

The documents provided by ICAS show that two of five judges who investigated Mohammadi Ashtiani's case concluded that there was no forensic evidence of adultery. It's shocking, she's sentenced to death by stoning because three judges think, just think, that you had an illicit relationship outside marriage, said Maryam Namazie of the ICAS.

Update: Release

Iran flag3rd April 2013. See article from

Iranian mother of two, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and later given a 10-year jail term instead due to public outrage has been allowed to leave prison for good behaviour , a judiciary spokesman said. He said that the decision was a sign of our religion's leniency towards women . There was no immediate word on whether the release was permanent or whether it was subject to some form of probation.


4th August

Update: Offer Misses the Target...

Iran unlikely to accept offer of refuge for Iranian woman sentenced to stoning

BrazilIran has rejected the Brazilian president's offer to give refuge to an Iranian woman convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

Ramin Mehmanparast, a foreign ministry spokesman, said: A far as we know, [the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula] Da Silva is a very humane and emotional person who probably has not received enough information about the case.

Further information would be provided to the president to clarify the situation about an individual who is a convicted offender , he added. Iran says Ashtiani has also been convicted of [a trumped up] murder.


7th August

Offsite: Adultery or Murder...

Interview with Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Sakineh Mohammadi AshtianiIn an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the woman whose sentence of death by stoning triggered an international outcry has accused the Iranian authorities of lying about the charges against her to pave the way to execute her in secret.

In the interview Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani said: They're lying. They are embarrassed by the international attention on my case and they are desperately trying to distract attention and confuse the media so that they can kill me in secret.

Mohammadi Ashtiani said: I was found guilty of adultery and was acquitted of murder, but the man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned but he is not sentenced to death.

The accused, who has not been named, is not facing execution because Mohammadi Ashtiani's son pardoned him, but she was sentenced to death after a local prosecutor in Tabriz accused her of adultery.

...Read the full article


10th August

Update: Out of Range...

Lawyer acting for potential stoning victim forced to flee Iran

Norway flagThe lawyer for a woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for adultery has fled to Norway where he is considering seeking asylum.

Mohammad Mostafaie has been representing Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, who was sentenced to death by stoning after she was found guilty of adultery.

Mostafaie, who says he has rescued 18 of his 40 clients facing death sentences in Iran in recent years, has himself faced increasing pressure from the authorities in Tehran and says he was finally forced to flee after a warrant was issued for his arrest at the end of July.

He told the press conference Sunday that he did not think his departure would have a negative impact on Mohammadi-Ashtiani's case, since other lawyers were prepared to pick up where he had left off. And this will highlight Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani case even more, he said, adding that he did not think Tehran would dare to allow her stoning sentence to be carried out or to harm her physically in other ways.

His wife Fereshteh Halimi had already been arrested and taken to the infamous Evin prison in Tehran, where she was held in isolation for 14 days, he said. The only reason she was arrested was that the authorities wanted me to turn myself in, he said, adding that he had been sick with worry, but had decided it was best to leave. His wife has now been released.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said Sunday in a statement he was very pleased that human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaie is now safe in Norway. The foreign minister lamented that the pressure on courageous defence lawyers such as Mostafaei is so great that they are compelled to flee, calling on Iran to respect human rights and fulfill its international obligations.


14th August

Update: Barbaric Iran Sinks Lower...

Ashtiani tortured to force TV confession

Sakineh Mohammadi AshtianiSakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's lawyer said she was tortured for two days before she agreed to appear on TV.

The Iranian woman whose sentence to death by stoning sparked an international outcry is feared to be facing imminent execution, after she was put on a state-run TV programme last night where she confessed to adultery and involvement in a murder.

Speaking shakily in her native Azeri language, which could be heard through a voiceover, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani told an interviewer that she was an accomplice to the murder of her husband and that she had an extramarital relationship with her husband's cousin.

The interview was broadcast on a show called 20:30 , a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Tehran to honour treaty obligations to respect the rights of citizens and halt executions.

Amnesty International condemned the so-called confession and said the independence of Iran's judiciary was tattered by the broadcast. This makes a complete mockery of the judiciary system in Iran, said Drewery Dyke of Amnesty's Iran team. Iran is inventing crimes ... it is an unacceptable practice that flies in the face of justice.

Update: Diplomat Summoned

21st August 2010. Based on article from

A British minister has met with Iran's envoy to London to press the clerical regime over the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Britain's Foreign Office said that Alistair Burt, a junior minister, met with Iranian Ambassador Rasoul Movahedian to discuss her case.


17th August

Update: Barbarity in Afghanistan...

Taliban stoning of eloping couple

Afghanistan flagA man and a woman have been stoned to death in Afghanistan over an alleged love affair.

Their families asked the Taliban to arrest the two, who were each engaged to other people, after they tried to elope.

A gathering of clerics, meeting last week to discuss reconciliation with the militant group, expressed support for harsh punishments such as stonings and lashings, which are allowed under sharia law.

A spokesman for Nato-led forces criticised the Taliban for carrying out what he said were acts of indiscriminate violence against ordinary Afghans.

An Amnesty International spokesman said: The stoning of this couple is a heinous crime. The Taliban and other insurgent groups are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against Afghans.

Update: Romeo & Juliet Killings Condemned

20th August 2010. Based on article from

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has added his voice to those condemning the Taliban-orchestrated execution by stoning of a young couple charged with adultery.

In a statement, Karzai termed the killings an unforgivable crime. He said the ruling to stone the two young Afghans by an illegal armed group without a fair trial runs contrary to all human and Islamic principles.

The killings, carried out in a village under Taliban control, have been widely condemned by Afghan civil society representatives, international human rights watchdogs, and prominent Muslim scholars in Afghanistan and beyond.


26th August

Diary: 100 Cities Against Stoning...

International protest against stoning in Iran

100-cities-flyer advert Saturday 28th August 2010

The following towns and cities have joined the August 28th global protest of 100 Cities of the World against Stoning.

...See list of protests


1st September

Update: Throwing Stones at the President's Wife...

Iran newspaper lays into Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

carla-bruniThe Iranian government urged the country's media to refrain from insults after a hardline newspaper twice described Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France's first lady, as aprostitute .

The Keyhan daily paper made the comments after Bruni-Sarkozy condemned the stoning sentence against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery.

Ramin Mehmanparast, a foreign ministry spokesman, said insulting foreign dignitaries was incorrect and was not officially sanctioned.

The paper first called Bruni-Sarkozy a prostitute on Saturday and repeated the comment on Tuesday. It said that, like Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to stoning, Bruni-Sarkozy deserved to die, as did actor Isabelle Adjani, who also condemned the sentence.

Bruni-Sarkozy was one of several French celebrities who published open letters to Ashtiani: In the depths of your cell, know that my husband will plead your cause unfailingly and that France will not abandon you

Spill your blood, deprive your children of their mother? Why? Because you have lived, because you have loved, because you are a woman, an Iranian? Every part of me refuses to accept this.

Kayhan, whose editor in chief is appointed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reported Bruni-Sarkozy's letter on Saturday under the headline: French prostitutes enter human rights uproar. It later returned to the subject, criticising Bruni'sillicit relationships with various people and blaming her for causing Nicolas Sarkozy's divorce from his second wife: Studying Carla Bruni's record clearly shows the reason why this immoral woman is backing an Iranian woman who has been condemned to death for committing adultery and being an accomplice in her husband's murder and, in fact, she herself deserves to die..Bruni is the singer and decadent actress who managed to break the Sarkozy family and marry the French president.

Iranian state-run TV also described Bruni-Sarkozy as proud of her immoral acts .


Based on article from

Meanwhile France has urged the European Union on Friday to threaten Iran with new sanctions over the case of a woman sentenced to death by stoning, despite Tehran's warning to the West not to interfere. 

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner wrote to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to call for all 27 member states to warn Tehran not to execute Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani.

Mock Execution

Based on article from

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning, was told on Saturday that she was to be hanged at dawn on Sunday, but the sentence was not carried out, it emerged tonight.

Mohammadi Ashtiani wrote her will and embraced her cellmates in Tabriz prison just before the call to morning prayer, when she expected to be led to the gallows, her son Sajad told the Guardian.

The mock execution came days after prison authorities denied family and legal visits to Mohammadi Ashtiani. Her children were told she was unwilling to meet them while she was told, also falsely, that no one had come to visit her.

Sajad, 22, heard the latest evidence of psychological pressure on his mother when he spoke to her by phone yesterday. They are furious with the international outcry over my mother's case so they are taking revenge on her, he said. The more the pressure comes from outside Iran, the more they mistreat her.

Protest rallies highlighting her plight were held in 100 cities on Saturday.


3rd September

Update: Inhumanity Continues...

Iran sentences two more people to death by stoning

Stoning scene from movieAmid the controversy and international outcry sparked by the stoning sentence handed down to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, Iran's supreme court reportedly has sentenced two more people to stoning on charges of adultery.

According to Iran's Human Rights Activists News Agency, the court approved on Aug. 28 a verdict of stoning to death for Vali Janfeshani and Sariyeh Ebadi, convicted of having an extramarital affair.

Janfeshani and Ebadi have been held in the central prison of Orumiyeh in Iran's West Azarbaijan governorate since 2008, according to HRANA. The group said the sentences came out of a vague and ambiguous judicial process and that Janfeshani and Ebadi were not granted the right to choose their own defense lawyers.


5th September

Update: Barbaric Iran Sinks Even Lower...

Ashtiani to be flogged for iconic photo (of somebody else)

Sakineh Mohammadi AshtianiIran has reportedly sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani – the Iranian woman who faces execution after being convicted of adultery – to 99 lashes in prison forspreading corruption and indecency after allowing an unveiled picture of herself to be published in a British newspaper.

The claim, which could not be confirmed, comes from her family and a lawyer representing Mohammadi Ashtiani, based on reports from those who have recently left the prison in Tabriz where she has been held for the last four years.

What has made the latest charges against her even more extraordinary is the fact that the unveiled photograph in question, published by the Times newspaper on 28 August, was not actually of Sakineh but of another woman, for which the paper has since apologised.

In reality, the woman pictured was Susan Hejrat, an Iranian political activist living in Sweden whose photograph had been published on a website along with an article she had written about Sakineh's case, perhaps causing the confusion.

Sakineh's son, Sajad Ghaderzadeh, accused the Iranian authorities of using the mistaken picture as an excuse to increase their harassment of our mother . My mother has been called in to see the judge in charge of prison misdemeanours, and he has sentenced our helpless mother to 99 lashes on false charges of spreading corruption and indecency by disseminating this picture of a woman presumed to be her [Sakineh] without hijab.

News of the latest punishment came amid reports from the family that they had learned her case has been referred for a judicial review to Branch 9 of Iran's supreme court which has requested police documents relating to her case, some of which appear to have gone missing.


6th September

Update: Brutal Even by Biblical Standards...

Vatican urges clemency in Iranian stoning case

VaticanThe Vatican has urged the Iranian government to grant clemency to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman facing death sentence by stoning for adultery.

Talking to reporters, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said that the Holy See was following this affair with attention and commitment, explaining that Church vehemently opposes death penalty and it considered stoning as a particularly brutal form.

A statement from the Vatican said that the Roman Catholic Church had intervened through diplomatic channels several times in the past when it comes to such humanitarian questions.


8th September

Update: Barbaric Beyond Words...

EU president appalled by Iranian stoning sentence

EU flagThe European Union has described the sentence of stoning to death passed against an Iranian woman convicted of adultery as barbaric .

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he was appalled and called the sentence barbaric beyond words .

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's sentence is currently being reviewed by Iran's supreme court.


13th September

Diary: Stop Stoning Now...

Protests against Iranian barbarity

icas logoSakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's son Sajjad is extremely concerned that the Iranian authorities are trying to frame Ms Ashtiani for his father's murder by constructing anew murder case to refute the stoning sentence.

Unfortunately a number of media outlets have bought into the lie (see for example BBC Sunday Morning Live's bias). In fact, the press have been given a copy of the actual court judgment of stoning for adultery at a 30 July press conference in London. Also, even the man who has been found guilty of murdering her husband has not been executed. In Iran, under Diyeh laws, the family of the victim can ask for the death penalty to be revoked.

On 18 September, we call on citizens everywhere to come out in defence of Ms Ashtiani and against the regime of flogging, stoning and execution. We are also calling for protests during 23-24 September when Ahmadinejad will be addressing the UN General Assembly.

Nothing can and will stop us from defending Sakineh's precious life and bringing an end to the medieval and barbaric punishments of stoning and execution.

Let's keep the pressure on.


18th September

Update: Facing the Other Way...

Facebook bans pages supporting Iranian stoning victim

Facebook logoMaryam Namazie and Mina Ahadi, have had their pages on Facebook disabled.

Both were campaigning to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from being stoned to death in Iran.

Maryam and Mina have asked for support in their campaign to get their Facebook pages reinstated.

ICAS' Abbas Goya has started a campaign on Facebook itself.

Update: One Restored, One to Go

22nd September 2010. From Maryam Namazie

By the way, Facebook had disabled Mina and my accounts recently right before the 18 September day of action for Sakineh and against stoning. After many letters of protest from supporters, and an open letter to Facebook founders by a number of well-known personalities, my account has been enabled again, though Mina's has not. Please keep writing to Facebook until they enable her account as well.


20th September

Ahmadinejad Makes it Up...

And claims that the stoning sentence was made up

Mahmoud AhmadinejadIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in New York this week for a United Nations disarmament conference, brushed aside questions about the death-by-stoning sentence for an Iranian woman asnews that was made up.

Ahmadinejad was dismissive when Christiane Amanpour, host of ABC's This Week , raised the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who had been sentenced to death by stoning on adultery charges, but whose sentence was lifted by the government after an international outcry.

Amanpour asked Ahmadinejad if he thought death by stoning was an appropriate sentence for anybody in today's modern Iran.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Christiane AmanpourAhmadinejad responded initially with a counter-question: Why do you think that the issue of one lady in a village in Iran called Ms. Mohammadi should suddenly become such a big issue for American officials?

He went on to say that Ms. Mohammadi was never sentenced to stoning. This was news that was produced and incorrect ... this was a news that was made up.

When Amanpour pointed out that Ahmadinejad's own government had lifted the sentence, he responded, Allow me. Allow me. When I represent the Iranian government, how come is it that I am unaware of what you are telling me and that you should be aware of it? This is an issue that is being considered. It's still being processed.

However, Ahmadinejad also called stoning an ancient method that needs to change.


22nd September

Diary: Stop Stoning Now...

Reporting protests against Iranian barbarity

icas logoThanks to all of you who supported the 18 September day of action in support of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and against stoning and flogging.

You can see a visual report of some of the actions here . Highlights include a rally of over 150 people in Brussels organised by Brussels humanists/secularists, MPs and Amnesty International as well as nearly 20,000 people chantingstop stoning now at the Protest the Pope rally in London at which I spoke along with Terry Sanderson, Pragna Patel, Richard Dawkins, Johann Hari, Peter Tatchell and others. Seemore .

Our next actions are on 10 October, International Day against the Death Penalty and against Ahmadinejad's visit to New York to address the UN General Assembly this week. See more .

In protest to Ahmadinejad's visit, 40 campaigners, academics and writers have called on the UN General Assembly to issue an emergency resolution calling for an end to the medieval and barbaric punishment of stoning as well as the immediate release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and all those sentenced to death by stoning. Theopen letter also asks that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not be allowed to address the General Assembly and that his government be boycotted.


27th September

Offsite: Barbarism in Pakistan...

Pictures show Taliban militants allegedly stoning woman to death

Pakistan flagA woman lies tied to the ground as a group of men gather round her, repeatedly throwing stones at her.

She appears to plead for help but despite her cries, they continue to rain stones down on her until she lies still.

Disturbing pictures today released to ABC news purport to show Taliban militants stoning a woman to death in north-west Pakistan.

...Read the full article


14th October

Update: Iran Give Up Posing as Civilised...

Iran detains German journalists interviewing son of stoning victim

Iran flagTwo German journalists have been arrested in Iran after conducting an interview with the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Mohammadi Ashtiani's son, Sajad, and her lawyer, Houtan Kian, are also believed to have been detained.

The journalists, a reporter and a photographer said to be from Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper, were interviewing Sajad Ghaderzadeh in the north-west city of Tabriz in East Azerbaijan province when officials raided the office of the lawyer. Their names have not been released and it is not clear where they are being kept at the moment.

Iran's prosecutor general confirmed the arrests, the students' news agency ISNA reported. Two foreigners posing as journalists have been arrested in Iran, said Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei.


30th October

Update: Video from a Stoning...

Pakistan Taliban stoning caught on mobile phone camera

stoning videoA video of a stoning has appeared on the internet.

The footage is exclusive to a Dubai channel called Al Aan TV. Though no cameras are visible, someone in the crowd recorded the incident via cell phone camera. The woman speaking clearly stated that the Pakistani Taliban, who are performing this execution, are in the Upper Orakzai in Northwest Pakistan where they have established their emirate.


2nd November

Update: Pits of Humanity...

Imminent execution for Iranian Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani March with us to save Sakineh from Paris to Brussels on 2 November 02 November 2010

We will be gathering at the Iranian embassy in Paris at 2pm (4 Avenue d'Iéna 75116 Paris) and marching to the european parliament in Brussels.

The authorities in Tehran have given the go ahead to Tabriz prison for the execution of Iran stoning case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. It has been reported that she is to be executed this Wednesday 3 November.

We had previously reported that the casefile regarding the murder case of Ms Ashtiani's husband had been seized from her lawyer's office, Houtan Kian, and found missing from the prosecutor's Oskoo branch office so as to stitch Ms Ashtiani up with trumped up murder charges. [Another man has already served a prison sentence and is now free for her husband's murder.] Ms Ashtiani's son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and her lawyer, Houtan Kian, have warned of the regime's plan to do so on many occasions. With the arrest of Ms Ashtiani's son and lawyer on 10 October and her not having had any visitation rights since 11 August and after fabricating a new case against her, the Human Rights Commission of the regime has announced that: according to the existing evidence, her guilt has been confirmed. In fact, the regime has created a new scenario in order to expedite her execution.

In other news, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and Houtan Kian have been severely tortured in order to obtain confessions against Sakineh and themselves since their arrests on 10 October along with two German journalists. The initial interrogations by the Ministry of Intelligence have now been completed and the casefile sent to the National Prosecutor General and Judiciary Spokesperson, Mohsen-Ejehi, in Tehran rather than being handled in Tabriz. Their families are concerned for their wellbeing. When attempting to secure lawyers for the two, authorities have said that the two men did not need legal representation.

The International Committees against Stoning and Execution call on international bodies and the people of the world to come out in full force against the state-sponsored murder of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Ms Ashtiani, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Houtan Kian and the two German journalists must be immediately and unconditionally released.


7th November

Update: Pits of Humanity...

Execution for Iranian Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani postponed for the moment

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani A global public outcry followed news of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's impending execution on 3 November, which was reported on by all major media outlets. Tens of interviews took place with Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committees against Stoning and Execution, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson Maryam Namazie, and other campaigners. Millions took immediate action worldwide by sending letters of protest to the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments calling for immediate action. A number of governments, including the French, Italian, Swedish, and US and the European Parliament and European Union responded at once and demanded that her execution be stopped. There were a number of demonstrations on 2 November, including in Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome and Washington, DC.

Once again, the Islamic Republic of Iran clearly saw the widespread global reaction to its decision to execute Ms Ashtiani and did not go ahead with her execution.

Ashtiani's execution, however, is still imminent. This is clear from the Islamic Republic of Iran's response to protesting governments. The Committees have received reports that the highest court has sent the order for her execution to Tabriz prison; she could therefore be executed at any time.

The International Committees against Stoning and Execution salute protesting people worldwide that called for an end to Ms Ashtiani's execution. It is as a result of public outcry that Ashtiani is still alive today.

We ask that people continue their protests, exerting pressure on governments and the Islamic Republic of Iran and highlighting her situation until her execution is officially rescinded and she is released along with her son, Sajjad, her lawyer, Houtan Kian, and the two German journalists arrested on 10 October 2010.


15th November

Update: Good Show!...

Topless protest in Kiev against the stoning in Iran

topless protestor Last Thursday there was a a pertinently targeted demonstration in Kiev

A group of feminists called Femen went topless at an event at the Iranian embassy to protest the sentence of death by stoning that Iran meted out to Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani.

Few things attract attention like a group of topless women, but in this case it seems particularly poignant.


17th November

Update: The Sin of Propaganda...

Iranian TV again features 'confessions' of stoning victim and her associates

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Iranian state TV broadcast a statement last night by the woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, in which she described herself as a sinner .

Appearing on TV for the third time since her case caught the world's attention, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani also accused Mina Ahadi, an activist of the German-based International Committee Against Stoning (Icas), of spreading her story around the world.

Ahadi has highlighted Mohammadi Ashtiani's case through the committee and has been successful in bringing it to the world's attention. The broadcast, on Iran's Channel 2, portrayed Ahadi as a communist dissident exiled in Germany , who had taken advantage of Mohammadi Ashtiani's case for her own benefit.

The two German journalists arrested on 10 October also 'confessed' during the broadcast that they had received orders from Ahadi.

During the programme, Mohammadi Ashtiani reiterated her previous televised confessions that she was involved in the murder of her husband. I am a sinner, she said.

Her face was blurred and the interview, conducted in her native Azeri language, was subtitled in Farsi. Previously, Iranian officials have tried to distract attention from the sentence of stoning by portraying Mohammadi Ashtiani as a murderer and not mentioning the charge of adultery over which she has been imprisoned since 2006.

Ahadi told the Guardian last night: They are not just attacking me, they are attacking our committee and everybody who successfully brought her case to the world's attention and, at least for now, managed to stop Iran form stoning her. If it wasn't for the world's attention, Sakineh would have been executed by now, that is what's making them angry.

Journalists Charged

Based on article from

Two German journalists have been charged with spying against Iran after interviewing the family of the woman sentenced to death by stoning, an Iranian judicial official said today.

The two women, who were identified only as a reporter and a photographer, were arrested in the city of Tabriz last month after interviewing the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Malekajdar Sharifi, the head of the judiciary in East Azerbaijan province, said today that spying charges have been formally lodged against them: The espionage charge for the two German citizens who came to Iran to stage propaganda and spying has been approved.

Sharifi said their behaviour suggested they were spies and that they were trying to create a negative impression against Iran. Germany has said it is doing all it can to secure their release.


26th November

Update: Stoners Stand Down...

Iran signals that stoning victim will be spared from execution

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Iran has signalled for the first time that it may spare the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery has sparked an international outcry.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, a top adviser to the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and the current secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights told Press TV: Iran's Council of Human Rights has helped a lot to reduce her sentence and we think there is a good chance that her life could be saved.

The unprecedented comments by Larijani, whose brothers are holding key positions in the Islamic Republic, one as the head of parliament and the other as the chief of judiciary, came after his visit to the UN last week where he extended an invitation during a meeting with Ban Ki-moon to the UN's human rights chief to visit Iran.

Update: Acquitted

20th February 2011. See  article from

Iran has freed two German journalists arrested four months ago after they interviewed the son of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

An Iranian court threw out their 20-month prison sentence, commuting it to a fine of $50,000 each and clearing the way for their release, state media reported.


30th January

Offsite: Barbarism in Afghanistan...

Eloping lovers stoned to death on the request of their families

stoning in afghanistan video A disturbing video of a man and woman being executed by the Taliban has been released by Afghan security forces.

The two people have been publicly stoned to death in Afghanistan over an alleged love affair.

The alleged lovers, who were engaged to be married to other people, were arrested by the Taliban on the request of their families after they tried to elope.

The video shows a woman wearing a blue burkah buried up to her waist as a baying crowd hurl rocks at her head and body. She is then shot three times by a Taliban fighter.

Her alleged lover is then blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back before he also is battered by a barrage of rocks.

A government official has condemned the execution, which took place in August 2010 in the district of Dashte Archi, in Kunduz: It is against all human rights and international conventions. There was no court.

Update: Police Promises

31st January 2011. See article from

Police have promised to bring justice to those responsible for a stoning in north Afghanistan.

Gen Daoud Daoud, chief of police for the region, said after viewing the footage that those committing the crime could be recognised in the video. He said that a number of special investigators would be sent to the area who would be able to help find the suspects in the effort of bringing them to justice.

Update: Victim Sold by Her Parents

10th February 2010. See article from

A young woman who was stoned to death in Afghanistan last August had reportedly run away from home because her father had sold her into marriage with a wealthy relative.

According to the Scotsman, Sediqa fled her village with another man, when she realized that the fiance who bought her was old and already married.

Sediqa's neighbours in Mullah Quli village said that the man had paid between 5,000-7,500 pounds to her father. Sediqa's father sold her to a man who was already married. The man was a distant relative and he had visited their house a few times, but Sediqa didn't realize he was her fiance, Juma Qol, a local said.

She did not know that her father had sold her and she didn't know that the man was already married. She had liked another boy for a long time. When she found out, she ran straight away to his house, he added.

The young couple were stoned to death after they were lured home by their parents and turned over to the Taleban.


17th February

Update: Three Killed in Attack on Ahmadis...

Indonesian Ahmadis stoned in Banten

Indonesia flagVideo recordings of the clash between Muslims and Ahmadis in Banten on Sunday show dozens of people stoning and beating two corpses.

The videos were played at a press conference held by representatives of dozens of NGOs.

Ahmadiyah Indonesia spokesperson Zafrullah Ahmad Pontoh attended the press conference.

In one video, people are seen beating the corpses while shouting Infidel, infidel! and Allahuakbar! Others clapped their hands and threw stones at the remains.

A police officer is seen trying to persuade the angry mob to stop, but he was ignored.

Other footage shows hundreds of people arriving at a home suspected to be a place for Ahmadis to worship and threatening to attack.

People in the crowd had brought bamboo sticks and machetes with them and most of them wore blue ribbons on their chest.

A shortened version of the footage -- only one-minute long -- was also made available online through YouTube.

Three were killed and five injured in the attack on Ahmadiyah followers in Umbulan village, Pandeglang regency, Banten, on Sunday morning.


22nd March

Update: Bible Guilty...

Man claims to have been inspired by the Bible to stone gay man to death

The Holy Bible on StoningA 28-year-old Pennsylvania man has been charged with murder after telling police he stoned to death a 70-year-old man after the senior citizen allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward him.

John Joe Thomas told police he beat Murray Seidman using a sock that was stuffed with rocks because he read in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned to death. The elderly man was hit in the head about 10 times, police said.

The relationship between the two is not known, but police said Thomas was the sole beneficiary of Seidman's will.

Thomas said he received a message in his prayers that he must kill Seidman.

And indeed The Bible does seems to back up Thomas and his resort to violence:

"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."  (Leviticus 20:13 New American Bible)


20th May

Update: Nasty regime...

Iranian stoning victim's lawyer jailed for 11 years

Iran flagThe former lawyer of an Iranian woman facing death by stoning has begun an 11-year prison sentence for his efforts to publicise her case.

Javid Houtan Kian, who represented Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, was jailed for supposedly endangering Iran's national security and spreading propaganda against the regime, with a further charge of spying still under review by the prosecutor.

Since his arrest in October he has been burned with cigarettes on his legs, feet and testicles, and has had 12 of his teeth knocked out during bouts of torture, according to a letter written by Kian that was reportedly smuggled out of the jail earlier this year.


31st May

Death in Ukraine...

Ukranian beauty contestant stoned to death in the name of sharia
katya korenA teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under Sharia law after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine. Katya Koren, 19, was found dead in a village in the Crimea region near her home.

Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes and had come seventh in a beauty contest.

Police have opened a murder probe and are investigating claims that three Muslim youths killed her claiming her death was justified under Islam.

One of the three - named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev - is under arrest and told police she had violated the laws of Sharia . Gaziev said he had no regrets about her death because she had violated the laws of Islam.

Update: But the authorities claim otherwise

2nd June 2011.  See article from

As CBS reports, the body of Katya Koren was found in a forest near her home in the Crimea region of Ukraine one week after her disappearance. Her battered body had been partially buried.

Initial media reports said three Muslim youths were responsible for the murder, claiming Koren's death had been justified under Islam, the Daily Mail is reporting. One of the three suspects, named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev, was quoted as telling police that Katya had violated the laws of Sharia, and that he has no regrets about her death.

Now, Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Chairman Mustafa Abdülcemil Qirimoglu claimed the detained teenager, who is of Crimean Tatar descent, was pressured by police into accepting the blame for the murder. The killing was covered in a distorted way, as if it was a religiously motivated murder, by the media around the world. Though initial reports said Koren, like her assailants, was Muslim, officials like Qirimoglu  now claim she is actually Christian with Russian roots. The girl was not Muslim. All these [reports] are a provocation and fabricated news.


5th July

Diary: International Day Against Stoning...

11th July
international day against stoning logoDear friends

11 July, the International Day against Stoning, will soon be here.

As you know Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is still languishing in prison. The authorities recently mentioned her case saying that no final decision had yet been reached on her stoning sentence and that Sakineh must remain in prison. Falsely accused of murdering her husband, her only crime is that she is a woman in Iran. Her lawyer, Sajjad Houtan Kian, also remains in prison for having had the courage to defend her and other women with stoning sentences in Tabriz prison; he has been sentenced to four years imprisonment, been put under a lot of pressure and lost 20 kilos (44 pounds) as a result.

The campaign to Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been an important one. It has spoken out in defence of humanity, and against the barbaric punishment of stoning everywhere. It has mobilised immense pressure against and condemnation of the Islamic regime of Iran from millions across the globe. These are accomplishments we must all be proud of.

On 11 July 2011, the International Day against Stoning, let's once again step up the pressure to demand Sakineh's immediate release and an end to stoning. Join us by either standing in a city square with a photo or poster of Sakineh, tweeting, or by organising an act of solidarity or a flash mob to raise awareness and attention. On 11 July, in 100 cities worldwide, let us once again raise the banner of humanity against one of the barbarisms of our time.

We look forward to your action and support.

Warmest wishes

Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning and Execution
Patty Debonitas, Iran Solidarity
Maryam Namazie, One Law for All


13th October

Offsite: Shappi Khorsandi on Stoning...

Supporting an Amnesty International campaign to end this barbaric killing

stoning amnesty tv video Shappi Khorsandi shows us the legal way to get stoned in Iran.

To find out more and help put an end to stoning in Iran visit

From the comments:

I can't believe that in 2011 this barbaric method is still in use.

I love this new style of video. It hides the horror of what's being explained just long enough to get the message across, where many would just turn away and refuse to watch if we were immediately shown a real stoning. It's very clever and I hope it gets more people to get involved in these important issues.


20th February

Update: Laying Down the Stones...

Iran promises again to end capital punishment by stoning

Iran flagTehran has said that it has amended the Iranian penal code, effectively banning the use of stoning as a method of execution and the execution of minors. However, there are loopholes open to clerical interpretation.

In response to international criticism over Tehran's policy of executing juvenile offenders, the guardian council that ensures judicial punishments are compliant with sharia law, has introduced amendments to the penal code.

The reforms are set to be implemented once President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has signed them into law.

The FT reported that Tehran will end the death penalty for juveniles, in addition to banning death by stoning, a death sentence that has caused international outrage. When the amendments come into effect adulterers will still be sentenced to death, but it may be by hanging, rather than stoning.

The exact method of punishment has not been established but Ahmadinejad is aware of the negative image which ensues from using stoning as an execution method. According to the Telegraph at least 99 people have been stoned to death in Iran since 1980.

Even with the planned amendment juveniles will still receive the death sentence for murder. Judges can still apply the death sentence in cases that are considered to be 'claims of God' and therefore have mandatory sentences (such as sodomy, rape, theft, fornication, apostasy and consumption of alcohol for the third time). However, judges will not be able to apply the death sentence in the cases of minors in none mandatory cases such as drug offences.

The Guardian also cites another change in the law pertaining to homosexuality: Sodomy for men was punishable by death for all individuals involved in consensual sexual intercourse, but under the new amendments the person who played an active role will be flogged 100 times if the sex was consensual and he was not married, but the one who played a passive role will still be put to death regardless of his marriage status.


1st June

 Update: The Pits of Humanity...

Sudan sentences woman to be stoned to death for adultery

Sudan flag A young woman found guilty of adultery in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning.

Intisar Sharif Abdallah was 'tried' without access to a lawyer and is being detained with her four-month-old baby, according to Amnesty International. Her family is appealing against the execution and it is unclear when it will be carried out.

Abdallah admitted to the charges only after her brother reportedly beat her. The conviction was based solely rests on this testimony. The man held with her reportedly denied the charges and was released.

Jean-Baptiste Gallopin of Amnesty International's Sudan team said:

The case is emblematic of the failure of the Sudanese judicial system. Intisar Sharif Abdallah was tried without access to a lawyer or a translator, despite the fact that Arabic is not her native language. She was convicted solely based on a testimony she gave under duress. She's being detained with her four-month old son, in a state of deep psychological distress. We call on the Sudanese authorities to stop the execution, overturn her stoning sentence and release her immediately and unconditionally.

Stoning is a method of execution designed to increase the suffering of the victim, which means it is an extreme and cruel form of torture. International human rights law specifically prohibits death sentences resulting from unfair trial, as well as the execution of new mothers. In addition, we urge the government to have the best interest of Intisar's child as their main consideration during the judicial process.


26th June

 Update: Stoners Stood Down...

Iran has hopefully dropped stoning plans for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Iran flag An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery has had the threat of execution lifted, it has been claimed.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's lawyer and supporters say Iran has ditched its barbaric plans for her death.

She is now only serving a 10-year sentence for being an accomplice to her drug-addicted husband's murder in 2006. And she could be freed on parole imminently.

Her supporters have put the claimed success down to the international outcry at her plight from governments, human rights organisations and luminaries around the world.

Mohammed Mostafaie, her lawyer who was forced into exile for publicising her case, said he had not heard anything official. But he did say: From what I hearing the stoning sentence has been lifted and she could be released on parole before finishing her prison sentence.


31st July

 Update: Barbarous in Mali...

Couple stoned to death for adultery

Mali flagA spokesman for the muslim extremist group Ansar Dine told Associated Press that a couple who had an adulterous relationship was stoned to death this weekend in the town of Aguelhok.

The man and woman were buried up to their necks, then pelted with stones until they died.


30th October

 Update: Pits of Humanity in Somalia...

Young woman stoned to death for sex outside of marriage

Somalia flagA young woman was stoned to death Thursday in Somalia after being convicted of engaging in out-of-marriage sex, reports say.

Residents of Jamama town said that muslim extremists loyal to Al-Shabaab carried out the stoning at the town's main square in late afternoon.

Many residents were called to attend the execution of the punishment, a resident said. He added that Al-Shabaab officials in the town witnessed the stoning.

The woman admitted having out-of-marriage sex, said an Islamist official who talked to the crowd after the killing was completed: This type of punishments that are compatible with Sharia (Islamic laws) will be administered.

Offsite Article: Somali injustice and nasty choices

30th October 2012. See article from

When Ali Faras's 21-year-old son was murdered, the local court gave him three options: to pardon the killer, demand blood money from the man's family or call for his execution. If he decided the latter, he would have to perform the killing himself.

...Read the full article


13th March

 Update: A Step Towards Civilisation...

Indonesia revokes stoning from sharia law as implemented in Aceh

Indonesia flagThe Aceh government has removed a provision for the stoning to death of adulterers from its draft of the Qanun Jinayat, a set of bylaws that replaces elements of the Criminal Code with Shariah provisions for Muslims.

Syahrizal Abbas, head of the Aceh Islamic Shariah Agency, said that the government had discussed this with ulema, academics and other related stakeholders and they had all agreed to revoke the stoning sentence.

The sharia bylaws impose extreme sentences such as stoning to death for adulterers and 100 lashes for people caught engaging in premarital sex or for committing homosexual acts. It also stipulated a maximum of 40 lashes or 40 months in jail for drinking alcoholic beverages and 60 lashes or a fine of 60 grams of pure gold or 60 months in jail for sexual harassment.


14th March

 Update: Lynched in Tribal Pakistan...

Soldier murdered by stoning after romance with local girl

Pakistan flagA soldier was stoned to death on Tuesday morning after he was caught trying to elope with a local girl in Pakistan's tribal districts along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

An eyewitnes told Newsweek Pakistan that the incident occurred in the main town of Kurram Agency. The political administration also confirmed the murderous exceution.

Anwar Din, a serving soldier from Punjab province, had allegedly gotten engaged to a local girl in secret while on deployment in the region. Anwar Din became involved with a local Shia Muslim girl while he was deployed in the area, according to the eyewitness: He was transferred a while back but had come to meet her while on leave.

Both Din and the girl were accompanied by friends and were spotted by locals while they were exchanging gifts in the graveyard, says the eyewitness, Din was captured. The girl has taken captive in the nearby Dar-ul-Zahra madrassah.

Following Din's capture, the local tribal jirga (council) formed a lynching committee who decided to stone him to death. This man was supposed to protect our region, but he did something that violates the code and conduct of the Pashtun tribe, an elder who participated in the jirga told Newsweek Pakistan. He has now met his fate.

A crowd of hundreds assembled to watch the execution by stoning. Din was brought to a square near the Turi graveyard where people started throwing stones and later beat him with poles of wood, says the eyewitness. He said the stoning lasted almost 15 minutes.

The fate of the girl remains unclear.


30th April

 Update: Ongoing Barbaric Justice...

Death by stoning set to continue as a legal punishment in Iran

Iran flag The Iranian regime has denied abolishing the medieval punishment of stoning.

Only the way that the barbaric practice is inflicted had been changed, the vice-president of the regime parliament's judicial commission Hamid-Reza Tabatabaii said.

He told state-run news agency Fars:

The stoning decree has not been omitted from the new punishment law. There have just been some changes in its method of practice and one of the Guardian Council's amendments relates to this.

The Guardian Council has stated that stoning must remain a legal punishment, and only that its method of execution must only change.


31st May

 Update: If the Stone Fits...

Stoning set to continue in Iran

Iran flag Iran has amended its internationally condemned law on stoning convicted adulterers to death to allow judges to impose a different form of execution, according to the revision seen by AFP.

The barbaric practice, in which stones are thrown at the partially buried offender, has provoked outcries from human rights organisations, international bodies and Western countries urging Iran to abandon it.

An article of Iran's Islamic new penal code, published earlier this week, states that, if the possibility of carrying out the (stoning) verdict does not exist, the sentencing judge may order another form of execution pending final approval by the judiciary chief.

According to local media, MPs had removed stoning altogether from the bill that they adopted. But the extremist Guardians Council of clerics and jurists, which must approve all legislation before it enters into force, reinserted it, with the new amendment.


17th October

 Offsite Article: Stoning...

stoning Where does it happen? Where is it legal?

See article from


29th November

 Updated: Pits of Humanity...

Afghanistan considers the reintroduction of barbaric punishments for adultery
Afghanistan flagAfghan government officials have proposed reintroducing public stoning as a punishment for adultery, Human Rights Watch said, even though the practice has been denounced both inside and outside the country as one of the most repugnant symbols of the Taliban regime.

The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country's penal code being managed by the ministry of 'justice'.

There are several references to stoning in a translated section of the draft seen by the Guardian, including detailed notes on judicial requirements for handing down the sentence.

News that the government is contemplating bringing back a much-reviled punishment is unlikely to go down well with the western governments that back Kabul.

 Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said:

It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment. President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand.

Update: Stoning will not be brought back, says Afghan president

29th November 2013.  See article from

Afghanistan's government has backed away from a proposal to reintroduce public stoning as a punishment for adultery after the leak of a draft law stirred up a storm of international condemnation.

The president, Hamid Karzai, said in an interview that the grim penalty, which became a symbol of Taliban brutality when the group were in power, would not be coming back. He told  Radio Free Europe:

It is not correct. The minister of justice has rejected it

But after several days of silence in the face of growing international outcry, the justice ministry said in a statement that although stoning had been proposed it would not appear in the new legislation because there was no need to regulate the issue .