Stop Stoning Forever Campaign: An Unfinished Story

Shadi Sadr
Publication Date: 
November, 2007
Shadi Sadr

Stop Stoning Forever Campaign: an Unfinished Story

Shadi Sadr is a human rights lawyer, journalist, co-founder of Raahi Women’s Legal Centre in Iran, and winner of the Lech Wasela Prize.

Only one year after the appointment of a fundamentalist government in Iran, in spring of 2006, rumors spread that two people, a man and a woman, were stoned in Mash'had. In the beginning, no one would believe it. Although stoning exists as a punitive act in the rules and regulations of Iran, governmental authorities announced that the Judiciary had stayed the enforcement of the “stoning” execution as a death penalty while in Human Rights negotiations with the European Union in 2002.

Further investigations and inquiries proved the validity of the news. Mahboubeh and Abbas were stoned under accusation of adultery. They were killed at dawn in a cemetery in the religious city of Mash'had, with stones thrown by armed forces or the volunteer militia according to Iran Penal Code, while they were wearing shrouds and buried up to their chests. Mahboubeh was forced into marriage with an addict and cruel man and had never managed to get a divorce; she was also accused of being an accomplice to the murder of her husband in collaboration with her lover. For the months following her stoning, nobody would dare to talk about Mahboubeh's case. The newspapers didn't want to write even a word about stoning, while others believed this had been an exceptional case and would not be repeated. Talking about stoning was a taboo at the time and printing anything about it would bring about serious risks for any newspaper.

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