Death Penalty Watch – Focus on Iran – 9 to be stoned for sex offences

21 Jul

According to Shadi Sadr from the Volunteer Lawyers’ Network, 8 Iranian women and one man has been sentenced to death by stoning for sex offences. The convicted women are accused of crimes such as prostitution, incest and adultery while the male on death row is convicted of illegal sex with a student.

Two days before this news, Reuters also reported that the EU has issued a critical statement against the state for executing 10 Iranians last week. The bloc was also concerned about new laws which extended the death penalty to include crimes such as creating websites that are deemed to ‘disturb the psychological security of society’.

On 13th July, AFP also reported the state sanctioned murder of two Iranians in the central city of Isfahan. AFP, which collates the number of death penalty executions of Iran stated that at least 123 people have been executed just within this year. Amnesty International also reported that it is the second country to have carried out the most number of executions for 2007, after China.

According to the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women, stoning or lapidation is still practised in Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates. While the Head of the Judiciary of Iran, Ayatollah Shahroudi, banned stoning in 2002, such sentences continued to be passed by lower judges as they are ‘obliged to follow the law over the order of a higher judge’. Iran, which is a signatory to the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights is in violation of the treaty by imposing the death sentence and stoning.


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