Stop Stoning Forever
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Mr. Golam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the leader of the Iranian Parliament
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Petition to Eradicate the Law of Stoning
The act of punishing people by stoning them to death in todays world is such an unacceptable and inhuman act of brutality that even the members of the government are ashamed of admitting to doing it, and have publicly denied that this merciless practice takes place in Iran. Despite the governments denial, this penalty is a sanctioned part of the Islamic Penal Code of Iran and it is being carried out without any legal obstacles.
We, the undersigned are extremely alarmed that the punishment of stoning to death has been adopted by the countrys legal system as a reasonable and acceptable form of retribution. Although, in December of 2002, your Excellency placed a ban on carrying out this type of sentence, in reality stonings have continued to take place in different parts of the country. In May 2006, in the city of Mashhad, a woman Mahboubeh M. and a man Abbas H. were both stoned to death.
Prior to carrying out the stoning, prior to their death, these two people were treated as if they were dead. In accordance with the Islamic tradition, their bodies were washed as if they were lifeless corpses, and wrapped in the kafan or white shroud. Then their wrapped bodies were buried in the ground, Mahboubehs body was buried up to her shoulders, and Abbas was buried up to his waist. The crowd, who had gathered to stone the two to death slowly as specified by law, then targeted them with their stones. All this took place without any mention of it in the public media of the country.
Apart from the above mentioned two cases, at least eleven people, nine women and two men as listed below have been condemned to be stoned to death. Their situation is grave. It is also possible that there are other people who have been condemned to death by stoning and we are not aware of it.
(1) Ms. Parisa A. (Adel Abad Prison, Shiraz)
(2) Ms. Kobra N. (Tabriz Prison, Tabriz)
(3) Ms. Kheireyeh V. (Sepidar Prison, Ahwaz)
(4) Ms. Iran A. (Sepidar Prison, Ahwaz)
(5) Ms.Malak (Shamameh) Ghorbany (Orumieh Prison, Orumieh)
(6) Ms.Hajieh Esmailvand (Jolfa Prison, Jolfa)
(7) Ms.Soghra Molawyi (Varamin Prison, Varamin)
(8) Ms.Ashraf Kalhori (Evin Prison, Tehran)
(9) Ms. Fatemeh (Tehran)
(10) Mr.Abdollah Farivar (Sari Prison, Sari)-Male
(11) Mr. Najaf A. (Abdel-Abad Prison, Shiraz)-Male
According to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed and ratified by Iran in 1975, in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes. Article 7 of the same covenant states that No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. Despite ratifying the above covenant, the Islamic penal code gives the judges the right to sentence the accused to death by stoning even when the crime of adultery has not been proved according to the same penal codes standards and requirements. Article #105 of the Islamic penal code gives the judges the absolute right to condemn the accused to death by stoning solely based on the judges subjective interpretation of the case.
We the undersigned demand and stress the need to change all laws contrary to human rights. We believe there are no crimes that deserve the punishment of stoning to death and we insist that this inhumane practice should be abolished forever.