Iran Human RightsUN rights chief urges Iran to stop stonings

UN rights chief urges Iran to stop stonings

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AFP: UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour on Tuesday condemned the stoning to death of an Iranian man for adultery, and urged Tehran to spare his partner the same fate. GENEVA, July 10, 2007 (AFP) – UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour on Tuesday condemned the stoning to death of an Iranian man for adultery, and urged Tehran to spare his partner the same fate.

“I am extremely concerned that despite a stated moratorium of the Iranian government on execution by stoning, this execution has gone ahead,” Arbour said in a statement.

“Stoning is in clear violation of international law,” she added.

Iranian officials announced Tuesday that Jafar Kiani had been stoned to death in the village of Aghche Kand near Takestan, in Qazvin province.

Kiani had been arrested 11 years ago with his partner Mokarrameh Ebrahimi after the couple were accused of adultery. Both were reportedly married to others at the time and both were sentenced to death by stoning.

Ebrahimi is currently being held in prison in Qazvin city with her two children.

“I urge the Iranian authorities to shed light on the reported execution and to stop the scheduled stoning of Mokarrameh Ebrahimi and all other such executions,” Arbour said.

Under Iran’s Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning, although in late 2002 judiciary head Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi had issued a directive suspending such executions.

Under the punishment of stoning, a male convict is buried up to his waist with his hands tied behind his back, while a female offender is buried up to her neck.

The spectators and officials attending the public execution start throwing stones and rocks at the convict, who is theoretically released if he or she is able to free themself.

The judiciary had up until now vehemently denied any stonings since 2002, although rights activists and press reports have on occasion claimed that such punishments have been carried out.

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