From “UN ‘Sharia-gate Shipwreck’: Landmark Revelation: Why FGM and ‘Violence against Women’ is Taboo,” by David G. Littman here at Jihad Watch, April 19, 2010, recounting what happened on June 16, 2008, when he was given the floor at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva:
David G. Littman: “The Government of Pakistan vigorously condemns the practice of so-called ‘Honour Killings’ and that such actions do not find any place in our religion or law.” – this is a quotation from President Musharraf on 28 April 2000. Yet this murderous practice seems to be on the increase in Pakistan and elsewhere – even in Europe in certain communities. It must be criminalized and the law strictly applied. The stoning of women for alleged adultery still occurs regularly in Iran, Sudan and other countries. In Iran, they are buried up to their waists in pits and blunt stones are used, thereby increasing their agony in death. The marriage-age for girls in Iran remains at 9 years old. In the year 2000, the Iranian Parliament attempted to increase the age to 14 but the law was overturned by the Council of Guardians. Last week … [The President recognized a point of order]
Iran: Thank you, Mr President. With all respect to your rule and to yourself, Mr. President, the statement and the references made by this speaker in this statement is false and has nothing to do with the realities in my country. I just wanted, for the record… he said that “the stoning of women for alleged adultery still occurs regularly in Iran.” It’s not true it is completely false & is out of the question. Thank you.
In his Jihad Watch piece, Littman then points out that Iran’s penal code contradicted this claim:
Islamic Republic of Iran Penal Code, Art. 102: “The stoning of an adulterer or adulteress shall be carried out while each is placed in a hole and covered with soil, he up to his waist and she up to a line above her breasts.” Art. 104: (…) the stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them; they should not be so small either that they could be defined as stones.”
And today’s news again shows that the Iranian spokesman at the Human Rights Council was lying. An update on this story: “Campaign for Iranian woman facing death by stoning,” by Saeed Kamali Dehghan in The Guardian, July 2:
A 43-year-old Iranian woman is facing death by stoning unless an international campaign launched by her children forces the authorities to quash what her lawyer calls a bogus conviction.
In a case that highlights the growing use of the death penalty in a country that has already executed more than 100 people this year, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted in May 2006 of conducting an “illicit relationship outside marriage.”
Sakineh already endured a sentence of 99 lashes, but her case was re-opened when a court in Tabriz suspected her of murdering her husband. She was acquitted, but the adultery charge was reviewed and a death penalty handed down on the basis of “judge’s knowledge” – a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present.
Speaking to the Guardian, her son Sajad, 22, and daughter Farideh, 17, say their mother has been unjustly accused and already punished for something she did not do.
“She’s innocent, she’s been there for five years for doing nothing”, Sajad said. He described the imminent execution as barbaric. “Imagining her, bound inside a deep hole in the ground, stoned to death, has been a nightmare for me and my sister for all these years.”
Under Iranian sharia law, the sentenced individual is buried up to the neck (or to the waist in the case of men), and those attending the public execution are called upon to throw stones. If the convicted person manages to free themselves from the hole, the death sentence is commuted….
Five years ago when Sakineh was flogged , Sajad was 17 and present in the punishment room. “They lashed her just in front my eyes, this has been carved in my mind since then.”
Mohammed Mostafaei, an acclaimed Iranian lawyer volunteered to represent her when her sentence was announced a few months ago. He wrote a public letter about her conviction shortly after. “This is an absolutely illegal sentence,” he said. “Two of five judges who investigated Sakineh’s case in Tabriz prison concluded that there’s no forensic evidence of adultery.
“According to the law, death sentence and especially stoning needs explicit evidences and witnesses while in her case, surprisingly, the judge’s knowledge was considered as enough,” he said.
Mina Ahadi, a human rights activist in Germany who helped Sakineh’s children to launch their campaign internationally has been in regular contact with Sajad and Farideh.
She said that after the campaign was launched last week, she received phone calls from the families of two other women kept in Tabriz prison, where Sakineh is, revealing that they are also convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. Azar Bagheri, 19, and Marian Ghorbanzadeh, 25, are their names, Ahadi disclosed.
“Azar was arrested when she was just 15. They couldn’t punish her before she became 18 years old according to the law, so they waited until now … and want to stone her to death,” Ahadi said. She has been subjected to mock stonings, complete with partial burial in the ground. “They’re preparing her for the real one,” said Ahadi.
Ahadi who has been following the stoning sentence in Iran over the past few years says that she is aware of the names of 12 other women who are sentenced to death by stoning in Iran at the moment.
“These are just the women I know, I estimate that at least 40 to 50 other women are waiting for the same destiny in Iran right now,” she said….