Paris, 11 July 2007 : The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian league for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) express their deep concern at the stoning to death of a man for adultery, on 5 July 2007, in Takistan (province of Qazvin). On July 10, a spokesperson of the Judiciary confirmed the execution of Jafar Kiani, and stressed that stoning is a legal penalty in Iran.
Jafar Kiani and his partner, Ms. Mokaraameh Ebrahimi, spent 11 years in prison. They were both condemned to stoning. The execution of Mokaraameh Ebrahimi has been postponed up to now thanks to domestic and international mobilisation.
In addition, in Sistan, in the South East of the Islamic Republic, a man whose first name is Mohamad-Gol, was hanged for armed rebellion, but no information is available concerning the date of his arrest and condemnation, the circumstances of his trial, or his family name.
The spokesperson of the Judiciary also announced on 10 July that 20 “thugs” condemned to death will be hanged in the coming days and that 15 other “thugs” may be condemned to death shortly.
Public hanging is generally used as the method of execution in the Islamic Republic of Iran, while stoning is prescribed in certain cases, including adultery (Art. 83 of the Islamic Criminal Code). The Code prescribes that men be buried up to their waist, women up to their chest (Art. 102). The size of the stones, which must not be too large so as to kill the person immediately but not too small either, is described in article 104.
Stoning is an inhuman and degrading punishment violating Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the Islamic Republic, which states that «No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ». Numerous UN bodies, including the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee against Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture have called for the abolition of corporal punishment.
With regard to the death by stoning, an order was reportedly made by the Iranian Judiciary in 2003 not to carry out death by stoning anymore. However, the July 5 execution by stoning is the second one since that order was made.
“We vigorously condemn the recent executions in Iran. They bring the execution toll since the beginning of the year to more than one hundred”, declared Karim Lahidji, Vice-president of FIDH and President of LDDHI. “We urge the Iranian authorities to adopt an immediate moratorium on all executions and, as a first minimal step, to pass a law prohibiting the death by stoning”, he concluded.
In Iran, the death penalty is generally pronounced after blatantly unfair trials, the executions are carried out in public, and the death sentence is not restricted to the “most serious crimes”, as required under international law. Those circumstances make an immediate moratorium on executions all the more urgent.