Thursday, 7 July 2011

11 July 2011 International Day Against Stoning - Actions and Statements

Updated 7 July 2011

Statement from Women Council of Belgium: Democracy contains the same values everywhere and we must defend it in the same way all over the world.
What reasonable person, whether European or from elsewhere, can still be in favor of stoning? Or female genital mutilation? Or hanging homosexuals? Or confining women at home?
 Women are more than half of humanity! Stoning is among the most the barbaric violence of the 21st century and massacres against women are perpetrated over and over again!  In Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Yemen, to name the main countries, death by stoning is still a punishment to which women - mostly - are still subject to… And ironically among these countries some have signed conventions of Human Rights.
 Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has languished for too many years in an Iranian jail. She has already been punished with 99 lashes administered in the presence of one of her two children.
How can we speak of "justice"? Stoning in Iran is a political tool in the hands of a, religious, Islamic, archaic and repressive regime decided to oppress the society in one of the hardest ways that exist.
In countries experiencing armed conflicts and in countries that have introduced Sharia law, violence against women is organized. Women who cannot defend themselves are the victims of fanatics and Islamic courts.
 Today the voice of Sakineh reached the world and today Sakineh represents all victims of obscurantism.
In Belgium we demand the abolition of stoning, which is a brutal murder that nothing can justify.
 On the International Day against Stoning in Belgium we say stop stoning now!
Viviane Teitelbaum
President CFFB – women council of Belgium

Statement from Farzana Hassan, Author: Islamic law, as interpreted and applied in Muslim countries renders women especially vulnerable with respect to sexuality issues.
For women, adultery, or a mere suspicion of adultery, can often land Muslim women in trouble with the law, particularly what passes for law in Iran, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Muslim world. The question then is: Why does an act that cannot take place without two parties often result in such dire consequences for women alone?
The obvious answer is the relative ease with which guilt can be established for women rather than men. For example, pregnancy is often interpreted as proof of adultery, and rape is often construed as adultery. The fallacy occurs because Islamic law in many parts of the Muslim world makes no fundamental distinction between rape and adultery. Victims of rape often end up being incarcerated for adultery because they are unable to prove their innocence due to unfair religious rulings on women’s testimony.
But even if the law established culpability equally to both sexes, one must answer a very basic question about the prescribed Islamic punishment for adultery.
A man may marry up to four wives, over and above the concubines with whom he may have sexual relations. Doesn’t that reduce a man’s chances of committing adultery, which would technically be defined as sex outside of marriage? A woman, on the other hand, has no such options. She may express her sexuality only within the bounds of her marriage to one husband. Therefore, even a single encounter with a man not her lawful husband immediately brands her an adulteress. The man may escape the charge of adultery by having several partners and regarding them all as legal.
Such inequality of opportunity, which imposes the charge of adultery on a woman much more easily, makes equal punishment utterly unfair. Jurists and other modern exegetes of the Koran have regrettably failed to recognize the injustice. Moreover, the terminology has simply been manipulated to legalize men’s multiple unions and criminalize the same in women.
Islamic law, as interpreted and applied in Muslim countries does not take into account the inequality of opportunity between men and women to express their sexuality. What is deemed perfectly legitimate for men is criminalized for women, leaving them vulnerable to sexual offences more often and far more easily.
Muslim countries must therefore repeal such laws that discriminate between men and women in this manner.  Laws must be based on secular and humanistic principles clearly embodying equality of the sexes.

Statement from Helle Merete Brix, Writer: I will participate in an action against stoning, this barbaric punishment that should long ago have been abolished. Thanks to the organisations letting the world know about the women and men in prisons in Iran and elsewhere being condemned to this inhuman punishment.

La Ligue Internationale de Défense des femmes and MPCT will organise an action
Contact: Annie Sugier,

Bogor, West Java
Teacher and activist Rafiq Mahmood to send a letter of protest to the Jakarta Post and Jakarta Globe on stoning for 11 July.

19:30 hours act of solidarity
Contact: Daniëlle Vermanen, via Facebook page

Leo Igwe, executive director of the Nigerian Humanist Movement: In today's world, it is shocking to know that there are states like Iran where human beings are facing stoning sentences. And as often the case, this barbaric form of punishment is used against the vulnerable members of the population like Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her associates in Iran. I want to join my voice with those of other friends around world to upon the government of Iran to abolish stoning and execution of human beings. And to free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani  Now. In solidarity with International Day Against Stoning. P.S. We are holding a humanist convention in Abuja in September 22-25. And there is a session on faith based human rights abuses. Please send a presentation on the international campaign against stoning.

Trafalgar Square
Iran Solidarity and One Law for All will organise a flash mob against stoning
18.30 hours
Contact: Patty Debonitas,

Statement from Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Author: July 11th is the International Day against Stoning. It is organised by, among others, Maryam Namazie, that admirably courageous fighter on behalf of threatened women in Iran and wherever Islam oppresses them. Please support her on July 11th, wherever you are.

Statement from Ahlam Akram, Researcher and Writer: Stoning to death is the world’s oldest form of brutal execution; it is   a cruel insane punishment that was derived from Hammurabi’s laws in Iraq thousands of years   before the three Abrahamic religions. Later, It was adopted by Judaism... up until Jesus famous anti stoning statement "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’’. But it was re-enforced during the first years of Islam and practiced today in some fundamentalist Muslim States.
Although there is no trace for this crime in any verses in the Quran... yet there are several talks about Omer Ben Al Qattab confirming that it was mentioned in some verses of the Quran, and that the prophet practiced it and all his companions followed his action... meaning that the entire community participates in this horrible act  which dissolve  the barrier of humanity in the community and the individual. And allows for a culture of violence in the society.
The procedure is extremely barbaric and bloody, and plants the seeds for a culture of continuous humiliation and demonization of women.
I urge all women to stand against it and urge the UN to ban any member state that allows it from gaining its membership. As well as depriving it from international community aid.
For a universal culture of peace we need to confirm universality of human rights in particular women's rights.

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner: Stoning is a relic of uncivilisation. A barbaric crime against humanity, it is uniquely cruel and sadistic. The people of the world - and the United Nations - must do much more to end to stoning – and all other forms of capital punishment.

Stephen Law, editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy journal THINK:  It is important we stand in solidarity with people who are being intimated and killed by stoning, often on trumped up or absurd religious charges.

George Broadhead, Vice-President UK Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, Secretary UK Pink Triangle Trust: I was appalled to learn that stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws in six Islamic countries - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates - and some states in Nigeria. This barbaric punishment amounts to torture before death and should have no place in the laws of any civilised society.

Cyrus Nowrasteh, filmmaker, The Stoning of Soraya M, USA
 Soraya Manutcheri was stoned to death in the village of Kupayeh, Iran in 1986. She was framed by her husband who wished to avoid support payments in his desire to divorce her. He used a legal system imposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran called “Sharia” -- which justifies the torture and suppression of its citizens, especially women. Since Soraya’s case innumerable women have been silenced by a repressive regime. This must stop. I commend the StopStoningNow campaign for bringing attention to the continuing grave injustice of stoning.

Antony Thomas, Filmmaker, For Neda, USA
I appeal to all those who care about human rights and justice to show their outrage at the treatment of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, as well as the wider issue of stoning as a punishment for those who break the medieval laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
 Although I believe that all civilised people should reject the death penalty in any circumstance, this particular form of killing stands out above all others as the cause of a slow and agonising death.  It is not only utterly degrading for the victim, it degrades everyone who participates in this barbaric ritual as well as the regime that permits it.

American Humanist Association Supports International Day Against Stoning, Washington, D.C., USA
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

For more information, contact Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions,, 0049 1775692413;;

Also see:

Why 11 July has been named the International Day against Stoning:

Washington Post, International Day against Stoning on 11 July:


  1. i hate muslim laws

  2. I don't understand why muslims worship Allah, some one who does not exist. Whole isalamic religion is nuts. How come they cut fingers of people who steal, cutting fingers?? and stoning to death?? who made those ridiculus laws. Why should muslim women cover themselves,, is this whole world crazy?? i like this world to be westernized. I wish these stonings, and other torturous things they do to both men and women, especially to women will be gone one day. I really wish one day, international laws will bring up something new and forbid every animal like activities of muslims.