Iran sentenced woman to be stoned on Human Rights Day

Iran sentence a woman to be stoned on Human Rights Day due to adultery charges. Between March 1980 and July 2010, 69 stonings in Iran were announced by news agencies but the figure is likely to be higher.
Screenshot of the Stoning of Soraya M. movie Photo Credit: Screenshot

The Islamic Republic of Iran, which chairs the UN Women’s Board, ordered that a woman be stoned to death on Human Rights day. According to the Bouroujerdi Civil Rights Group, the woman who is known as A.Kh was sentenced to death due to adultery charges. She had previously been sentenced to 25 years in prison for participating together with S.A. in the murder of her husband, Araash Babapoor Tabrizi-Nejad. S.A. also got 100 lashes for adultery. According to the report, there is a chance that A.Kh’s stoning verdict can be reduced to execution in the gallows.

According to Iranian human rights activist Kaveh Taheri, “69 stoning penalties have reportedly been implemented by the Islamic Republic of Iran between March 1980 and July 2010 that were announced by news agencies. But at least 99 to 209 stonings were allegedly carried out under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code. 15 people survived the stoning. Three stoning sentences were converted to execution by the gallows.”

“Stoning is a heinous act of torture,” Iranian human rights activist Shabnam Assadollahi proclaimed. “There are 15 countries in which stoning is either practiced and authorized by law or tolerated. One of those 15 countries is Iran. The last known execution by stoning was in 2009. In Iran under the Islamic law, stonings, hangings, and executions are legal torture.” 

“In Islam under Sharia law, the stoning (Rajm) is commonly used as a form of capital punishment which is called Hudud,” Assadollahi explained. “Under the Islamic Law, it is the ordained penalty in cases of adultery committed by a married man or married woman with others who are not her/his legal partner. Stoning will be carried out by a crowd of Muslims who follow the Sharia law where they throw stones (small and large pieces) at a convicted person until she/ he is killed. Why can't we prevent these barbaric punishments? The international community must pressure Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, and other countries where stoning is legally carried or tolerated. Why can't the public loudly cry out and advocate for women oppressed by those regimes?”  

Evidently, stoning is only one of many abuses that regularly violate women’s rights in Iran. According to UN Watch, Iran is ranked one of the worst countries for women’s rights, ranking number 137 out of 142 in the Global Gender Gap Index for 2014. They noted that Iran has an abysmal record on child marriages, forced head-covering imposed by the Morality Police, acid attacks, domestic violence, spousal rape, state controlled control of women by their husbands and gross inequality in workplaces, the educational system, and the public sphere. UN Watch stressed that when Iranian women try to protest against this reality alongside the stoning of women to death for adultery, they are persecuted, arrested, imprisoned and tortured for expressing their beliefs.

However, Assadollahi is shocked that despite the stoning verdict of this woman and other violations of women’s rights that routinely occur within her country, the international community has remained silent: “Why has the so called feminist Prime Minister of Canada, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion, and their two Iranian origin MPs, Majid Jowhari and Ali Ehssasi, remained silent about the stoning of an Iranian woman that is scheduled to take place by the evil Islamic regime of Iran? Where are the feminist organizations, women’s rights defenders, and the Iranian human rights organizations who recently accepted the Iran Deal? Everyone must be busy reconnecting with the anti-women and anti-human rights Iranian regime or making contracts with Iranian officials instead of condemning that regime and its systematic violation of human rights. Or they would only care if it involved Israel.”

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