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Are Executions by Stoning Back in Iran?

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Are Executions by Stoning Back in Iran?Radiozamaneh - A court in Lorestan province of Iran has convicted a man and a woman of adultery and has punished them to execution by stoning.


Sadegh Larijani, the Head of Judiciary in Iran

Since 2002 Iranian Judiciary has been indecisive about this cruel and inhuman punishment. At one time in 2003 the head of the Judiciary, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, imposed a moratorium on execution by stoning.

The last documented case of stoning was in 2009 when two men were stoned to death in Mashhad. Yet it seems that stoning is back.

The most recent case in Lorestan involves a women and a clergy. The two had an extramarital affair that has become entangled in a local political dispute between competing factions.

The local intelligence officials, including the internet police, have secretly taped the clergy and the women having sex and have gathered other supporting documents. The tape and the documents were presented in the trial for the alleged adultery.

Branch 1 of Koohdasht’s Criminal Court in Lorestan has sentenced the two to death by stoning. The case has not yet been appealed and there is still a chance that the ruling will be overturned.

No information has yet been disclosed about the female defendant but since the punishment is stoning, one can only assume that she must have been married at the time of the affair.

Based on Shiite jurisprudence a married man is entitled to temporary marriages with as many unmarried women as he wishes. As such the punishment of execution by stoning only applies when the female party to sexual intercourse is married.

Despite the 2002 moratorium, stoning has taken place in Iran in 2007 and 2009. The recent ruling also shows that here is no ban on stoning.

The current head of the judiciary in Iran, Sadegh Larijani has defended stoning as the right punishment supported by the Shari‘a law. The current status of stoning in the Islamic Penal Code is as such that the judge with the permission of the Judiciary and supreme judges can use other methods of execution for adulterers.

According to the Islamic Penal Code in Iran an adulterous man and women are buried in a ditch up to the man’s waist and the woman’s chest and then stoned to death.