News and Views by Region
Campaigning must continue to end stoning
SAKINEH Mohammadi Ashtiani could be stoned to death or hanged in Iran within days.
Facing arrest, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, fled to Norway via Turkey, where he was briefly detained. His wife and two relatives were held hostage in Tehran's Evin prison. They have since been released on bail. Non-government organisations campaigned forcefully on their behalf. However, few Muslim or non-Muslim leaders have spoken out against the criminalisation of adultery and its punishment by stoning.
Dr Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary General of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, believes the ancient custom, revived after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, is consistent with Islam. Article 104 of the Iranian Penal Code states: "The stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones." Members of the community, often family and in-laws of the accused, carry out the deed. According to Larijani, international protests are part of a destabilising political campaign orchestrated by Western nations, an argument the UN appears to accept without dispute.
Iran: Shiva Nazar Ahari's will face 3 charges on 4 September
Writing about Shiva Nazar Ahari is more than writing about a human rights activist and fighter. It’s writing about those who take up the mantle of struggle to fight for establishing and consolidating their countrymen’s basic rights, without having a political agenda. Some bear prison and torture, others exile and refuge camps. Still, Shiva Nazar Ahari’s case is a dangerous one and the silence of the media about her is reprehensible, especially as her lawyer says Shiva’s trial date is set for September 4, for charges of moharebeh, war on god, which is punishable by execution.
On the latest developments in her case, her lawyer says: “One of Shiva Nazar Ahari’s three charges is moharebeh. I’m wondering how to defend her in court on that one! In a conversation with my colleagues, I told them that if a few more charges like this are issued [for my clients], I’ll withdraw from all of my cases. Shiva Nazar Ahari’s trial will be held on Sept. 4, and I really have no idea what will happen –what verdict will be issued, based on what line of reasoning. If they are going to sentence her using the same logic with which they charged her, her situation may be dangerous. This is a charge that receives the death penalty.”
Vatican condems sentencing of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican raised the possibility Sunday of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery.
In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican decried stoning as a particularly brutal form of .
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church opposes the death penalty in general.
It is unclear what chances any Vatican bid would have to persuade the Muslim nation to spare the woman's life. Brazil, which has friendly relations with Iran, was rebuffed when it offered her asylum.
Egypt renews crackdown on female mutilation
There are giggles and shouts as little children play boisterously in the dusty street by the Hadad family home in the village of Abu Nashaba.
Just inside the front door, however, a mother dressed in black is sitting on the floor weeping silently. It is less than a month since the death of her 13-year-old daughter, Nermeen.
The girl died in a nearby health clinic and was buried without a permit from the local authorities.
Jordan marriage law challenged
Rights activists call for scrapping a law allowing early marriage for girls
'Carla Bruni is a prostitute', says Iranian newspaper
An Iranian newspaper has called Carla Bruni, France's first lady, a "prostitute" after she attacked Iran's plan to stone a woman to death.
Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning)
It may be the oldest form of execution in the world, and it is certainly among the most barbaric.
IRAN: Prosecutor urges tighter checks for women's Islamic dress code
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's prosecutor called on Sunday for tighter checks on women who fail to observe Islamic dress code in public, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Under Iran's Sharia law, imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.
"Unfortunately the law ... which considers violation of the Islamic dress code as a punishable crime, has not been implemented in the country in the past 15 years," said general prosecutor Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei.
"Under the law, violators of public chastity should be punished by being sentenced to up to two months in jail or 74 lashes."
A Statement of Concern Regarding the Televised ‘Confession’ by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women and the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network deplore the staging of a ‘public confession’ on Iranian television by Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who is awaiting execution in Iran by stoning for adultery.
The ‘confession’, done in an interview format, was broadcast on Wednesday 11th August on the '20:30' television program by Seda va Sima, the government broadcasting station. The ‘confession’, showed Sakineh implicating herself in the murder of her husband. However, as we have noted, Sakineh speaks Azeri (a Turkic language) but the interviewer narrated and spoke in Farsi drowning out Sakineh’s voice in her own language.
AFGHANISTAN: Stop stoning and other forms of cruel punishments by the Taliban
The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women and the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network condemn the recent incidents of violent punishments by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
On Sunday 15 August, a couple in their twenties were publicly executed by stoning by the Taliban in a village controlled by their forces in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan.The couple had eloped to Pakistan, although they were reportedly engaged to other people, but later returned to their village of Mullah Qulli in the Archi district of Kunduz. Some reports indicate that their families had agreed to marry them, while others conclude that a jirga had ruled they would be pardoned if the accused male paid compensation. However, the Taliban arrested and stoned to death the two young people in a bazaar of Dasht-e Archi district on the accusation of committing an act of adultery, as confirmed by Mohammad Omar, the governor of Kunduz.