Stoning of a woman is upheld

Translated by: Rochelle Terman, SKSW Campaign from the original Persian, Rooz Online.

The 27th Iranian Court District approved of the stoning of a Afsaneh, woman from Shiraz, Iran.

The original stoning order of this woman came from the 5th Court District in Shiraz in Fars Province. It was then appealed to a higher court in the country, who approved the decision under case file 588.

Branch 5 of this court approved the decision on 21 Farvadin 1387 (Iranian calendar) and ordered the sentence of killing by stoning of Afsaneh. In this order, considering to the laws relevant to this file and the statements of the accused, the court came to the conclusion that the defendant purposefully and consciously chose to commit murder. Her partner and accomplice to the murder, a man named Reza, was sentenced to 15 years in jail with 100 lashes.

The defendant's appeal to a higher court was rejected. The judge in District 27 of the court approved this sentence in 14 Mordad 1387. This comes at a time when the spokesman for the Iranian Judiciary announced in a press conference that Iran would no longer enforce the law of stoning for any of the accused.

Gholamhossein Raesi, head of the Lawyers for Human Rights commission in the Fars province stated: "This order was based on the 'knowledge' of 'feeling' of one Judge, and contradicts the law of Islam on punishments for adultery."

He explained that the crime of adultery could be proven two ways. First is based on the confession of the accused. The second is based on eye-witnesses. Therefore, according to law 99 in the Islamic criminal code, the judge's "knowledge" or "feeling" is illegitimate when trying the crime of adultery.

Gholamhossein Raesi explained that differences exist within the laws themselves and the beliefs of the Islamic leaders concerning this punishment. But he refers to the new Islamic criminal code that was recently ratified in the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), saying: "Even if the order about Afsaneh was given before the approval of the new law in Majlis, the repeat of the punishment of stoning contradicts the current laws enforced our society. The act of stoning requires much discussion among Iranian lawmakers and the international human rights community. Stoning goes against the current law enforced in our society as well as international human rights law. It seems that the lawmakers in Iran are not genuinely interested in stopping this punishment."

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