Comments by David G. Littman: NGO Representative to the UN – Geneva: Association for World Education / World Union for Progressive Judaism
We were relieved to learn that it was possible to concentrate the minds of Iranian leaders by spreading the ghastly ‘stoning’ news worldwide: Iran backs down, won’t stone “adulterous” mother — but she is not safe yet.
It is now necessary for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – and all Human Rights bodies — to call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to bring its Penal Code into harmony with the International human rights norms that are binding on Iran. The Association for World Education received a letter from the legal adviser to HCHR Mary Robinson 10 years ago (dated September 14, 2000) in regard to Iran’s use of shari’a law in an infamous trial concerning Jews.
The UN position was there stated – after a six month period of reflection:
The Member States which have acceded to and ratified United Human Rights Conventions remain bound, under all circumstances, by the provisions of those texts, as well as the erge omnes obligations under customary international law.
This very clear official UN position, here confirmed in writing, should be firmly upheld on all occasions by the High Commissioner, the Human Rights Council (at the 15th session from 13th September), UN bodies and all UN Member States. A good start would be for Iran to be asked to delete the articles on stoning in the Iranian Penal Code (Art. 100 – 104), as well as all similar barbaric punishment, such as cutting off a hand for minor theft, if it is still applied in Iran and any Member State of the UN – and of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Such barbarism should no longer be considered as protected by an appeal to “freedom of religion”, as was done in 1994 by the delegate of the Sudan.