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Thursday, 23 September 2010
On Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's lies about stoning
By Farshad Hoseini
This is the second year that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presence is causing a storm of international protests.
Last year, it was primarily due to Neda Agha-Soltan’s murder in broad daylight at a Tehran protest and this year it is the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.
Last year, under public pressure, Ahmadinejad outrageously declared that Neda had been killed by protestors rather than the regime’s own security forces. This year, he has outrageously announced that Sakineh was never sentenced to death by stoning.
The reason for his absurd claim is not that there is any truth in it but because of the massive international protest movement against stoning and executions in Iran led by the International Committee against Stoning and the International Committee against Execution.
The protest movement has condemned stoning as one of the most shameful crimes in human society - so shameful, in fact, that the leader of a regime of stoning has been forced to deny it outright! Rather than speaking from a position of power and defending Islamic rule and Sharia law, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been reduced to the weak and humiliating position of denying it altogether. This must be seen as a defeat for his regime that has stoned people for several decades and a victory for the movement against stoning.
Now is time to push forward and further expose and highlight the Islamic Republic of Iran’s crimes against humanity and demand that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government be boycotted.
Here is some more information on stoning in Iran:
The beginning of stoning n Iran
In 1983, the contemporary Islamic Penal Code was ratified by Iran’s Islamic Assembly. Before this, however, stoning had been practiced in Iran since 1980. Based on the sources of a recently published report*, at least 10 persons were stoned to death in Iran before stoning became law as punishment for the ‘crime’ of adultery.
Amnesty International reported that 76 people were stoned in Iran from 1980 until 1989.
Based on reports published by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its state media, in just one day, 15 persons including 12 women and 3 men were stoned together in a football stadium in the city of Bushehr.
Amnesty International reported that 26 people were stoned in Iran between January and May 1989.
Stoning during the Khomeini era (1980-1989)
During Khomeini’s era at least 76 people were stoned.
Stoning during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005)
During the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, the so-called “reformist” president, at least 28 people were stoned to death and 36 people sentenced to death by stoning.
Stoning during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2010)
At least 8 people were stoned to death and 31 people sentenced to death by stoning during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency.
Stoning of children
The youngest girl who was sentenced to death by stoning was Ms. Zihla Izadi in the city of Bukan (Iranian Kurdistan) in 2004; she was 13 at the time. At the time she said: “I’m afraid; I’m afraid, please, help. I want to go away, I want to go to my friends and I want to go to school”… Fortunately her life was saved as a result of public pressure.
The youngest girl who was stoned to death was Saeideh in the city of Zahedan in 2008. She was 14 years old.
Other outrageous forms of punishment
In late May 1990, in the city of Neyshabour (northeastern Iran), a woman charged with adultery was thrown off a 10-story building. The execution was carried out in public, and the victim died on impact.
A woman named Bamani Fekri was sentenced to stoning, the blinding of both eyes and the payment of 100 gold dinars. After the verdict was issued, she committed suicide in prison.
Those saved from stoning
The International Committee against Stoning has saved the lives of 17 person including 14 women and 3 men from stoning to death.
Contradictory statements of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s authorities on stoning
In 2002, Iran's judiciary indicated that stoning would no longer be practiced in Iran by saying there was to be a moratorium.
But since 2003, eight people have been stoned to death, and 47 people have either been sentenced to death by stoning or the courts have upheld their stoning sentences.
In 2008, Iran's Islamic judiciary decided to scrap the punishment of stoning in draft legislation submitted to the Islamic Assembly for approval. But since then, 5 people have been stoned in 2008 and 2009 and 15 people have been handed stoning sentences.
As of June 2009, Iran's Islamic Assembly has been in the process of reviewing and revising the Islamic penal code to omit stoning as a form of punishment. But since then, 1 man has been stoned to death in 2009 and 11 people have been sentenced to death by stoning.
Note: These are only the cases for which documented evidence exists; it is certain that the actual numbers are higher.
* The report published by the International Committee against Stoning in August 2010 was written by Farshad Hoseini and is entitled “List of known cases of death by stoning sentences in Iran (1980-2010).” The report can be read here.
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