Islamic regime caves in to protests:

Stonings suspended in Iran

According to the state-run press in Iran, the Islamic punishment of death by stoning has been suspended in Iran. The Islamic regime has retreated in the face of mounting protests, both inside and outside Iran, to put an end to this hideous crime. The head of the judiciary, Shahroudi, is reported to have written to his judges asking them not to use stoning as a sentence for extra-marital affair.

Scores of people have been stoned to death under the Islamic Republic in Iran. The most recent cases were those of a woman and a man by the names of Goli Nik-khoo and Yunes Asady, who were stoned to death in the city of Naghadeh. A woman, Nosrat Abouee, in the city of Yazd managed to set herself free during the stoning and is now in prison, awaiting execution – as are four other women (Sima, Ferdows, Shahnaz and Ashraf) who have all received sentences of death by stoning.

The International Committee against Stoning has been campaigning for the abolition of the barbaric act of stoning for more than four years. Last month, following a meeting with the European Union, Mina Ahadi, director of ICAS, received assurances from EU that the Islamic regime in Iran would be pressurised on the issue of stoning in forthcoming negotiations. The halt to stoning in Iran is a tremendous victory for all those progressive organisations and individuals and women’s rights groups and activists who have been campaigning for the abolition of stoning. The International Committee against Stoning extends its warmest appreciation and congratulations to all Members of the ICAS and those involved in this campaign.

It is important to note, however, that stoning has not yet been abolished in law in Iran. Extra-marital affair is still a crime. The heads of the regime are already discussing alternative forms of punishment - including execution - for sex outside marriage. We are strongly opposed to any form of punishment for extra-marital affair. Consensual sex between adults is their private affair which no state has the right to interfere in. Our Committee will continue its campaign until the total abolition of stoning in Iran and everywhere and for decriminalization of sex between consenting adults.

International Committee against Stoning

January 07, 2003

Shiva Mahbobi
Public Relations
International Committee agianst Stoning
Tel: +447984445278