A moratorium on execution by stoning was ordered by the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, in December 2002. Despite this, sentences of death by stoning in Iran are still being passed and, on occasion, carried out.
Iran’s Penal Code prescribes execution by stoning. It even dictates that the stones are large enough to cause pain, but not so large as to kill the victim immediately. Article 102 of the Penal Code states that men should be buried up to their waists and women up to their breasts for the purpose of execution by stoning. Article 104 states, with reference to the penalty for adultery, that the stones used should “not be large enough to kill the person by one or two strikes; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones”.
From: “DIVAS SAPIENS”
“The rights of women are sacred.
Allah ejnoins you to treat women well, for they are your your mothers, daughters, and aunts.”
Doesn’t such punishment violate the Prophet’s advice?
I urge you to immediately commute the sentences of death by stoning passed on Zohreh and Azar Kabiri-niat immediately.
Whilst a moratorium on execution by stoning was ordered in December 2002, I am concerned that sentences of death by stoning in Iran are still being passed.
Whilst I welcome moves towards reforming the law on stoning in Iran, I urge you to ensure that new legislation does not permit stoning or any other form of execution for “adultery while being married”.
Please commute Zohreh and Azar Kabiti-niat’s death sentences immediately.
Stop child executions: Delara Darabi
Delara Darabi is at risk of execution for a murder which took place when she was 17 years old.
Even though Iran has signed up to international treaties that prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by those under the age of 18, eight juvenile offenders were executed in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009.
Update 9 April 2009: Fear of imminent execution: Delara Darabi’s lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, fears that his client is now at imminent risk of execution. He received a telephone call from Delara Darabi on 21 March in which she said that she had heard rumours in prison that she would be executed.
Normal legal avenues in her case have been exhausted, though domestic and international concerns about her situation appear to have resulted in repeated and slow-moving legal reviews. To ensure that she will not be executed however, all the members of the victim’s family must agree to accept diyeh, or payment, sometimes called ‘blood money’ in exchange for her pardon. One relative is said to be undecided as to his wishes.
Delara Darabi’s case
According to reports in the Persian language news service Aftab, Delara Darabi and a 19-year-old man named Amir Hossein broke into a woman’s house to commit a burglary. Amir Hossein allegedly killed the woman during the burglary. Delara Darabi initially confessed to the murder but has since retracted her confession. She claims that Amir Hossein asked her to admit responsibility for the murder to protect him from execution, believing that , because she was under 18, she could not be sentenced to death.
Delara Derabi maintains her innocence, and has claimed that she was under the influence of sedatives during the burglary.
Amir Hossein has reportedly received a prison sentence of 10 years for his involvement in the crime.
Following the handing down of an initial sentence of death, the Supreme Court found “deficiencies” in her case and sent it for retrial. However, following two trial sessions in January and June 2006, Delara Darabi was sentenced to death for a second time by Branch 107 of the General Court in Rasht. In January 2007, her lawyer said that her case was under consideration by Branch 33 of the Supreme Court.
Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009.
The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Iran is a state party. It has therefore undertaken not to execute anyone for crimes committed when they were under 18.
In Iran a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of Article 6(4) of the ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).