Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Statement by American Humanist Association

American Humanist Association Supports International Day Against Stoning
(Washington, D.C. – July 11, 2011)

Today, on the International Day Against Stoning, the American Humanist Association is raising awareness of the brutal practice of stoning and demanding the end of stoning as a form of punishment around the world.

The American Humanist Association stands beside the International Committee Against Stoning and its effort to eradicate the cruel tradition of stoning, an inhumane method of punishment which affects predominantly women and girls in developing countries. Fundamentalist religious zealots around the world are responsible for enacting laws based on stringent and unforgiving moral codes, sometimes punishable by sentences such as stoning to death. Women are stoned for “offenses” such as giving birth out of wedlock, extramarital affairs, and even in response to false accusations of murder.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been imprisoned along with her lawyer for four years, was sentenced by the courts of the Islamic Republic of Iran for various charges of being an accessory to murder, public indecency (for appearing in court without the traditional Islamic veil) and adultery. International pressure has resulted in a stay of her execution, but she and her lawyer still remain in prison. This pattern of indicting women on false accusations, and on grounds of violating strict religious requirements, places a heavy burden on women to obey laws set in place by the influence of male clergy and lawmakers.

The American Humanist Association condemns the act of stoning as brutal and inhumane. Humanists worldwide strive to protect the dignity of all and work to protect those accused of crimes based on fundamentalist restrictions on women. We are proud to support the International Committee Against Stoning and the Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Campaign in their efforts to end this practice.

Roy Speckhardt
Executive Director
American Humanist Association

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