Tuesday, July 10, 2007
WHAT CENTURY IS THIS?
Jafar Kiani was stoned to death Thursday in Aghchekand, 124 miles west of Tehran in Iran. He was executed for committing adultery.
Members of the Stop Stoning Forever campaign in Iran had informed the Norwegian media Monday about the stoning of Jafar Keyiani last Thursday in Takestan. That nation responded today.
Although part of Islamic laws, Iranian officials have in the recent years given in to international protests and tried to replace stoning with other forms of punishment but still there are reports, especially in rural areas, that stoning sentences are issued and carried out.
Jafar Kiani and his partner, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, have been in prison for more than 11 years for an adulterous relationship and having two children. The couple’s children live in prison with their mother. The Stop Stoning Forever Campaign broke the news of their case on June 19 as they were scheduled to be stoned together on Thursday, June 21, 2007. After the news was spread, the Iranian judiciary officials were faced with a strong wave of national and international opposition and announced that the order of stoning would be stayed.
But apparently not!
According to unofficial reports, only a few villagers participated in the stoning so the sentence was carried out mostly by officials. According to the Iranian law, the judge who has issued the sentence would have to be present in person to throw the first stone.
The Stop Stoning Forever Campaign is asking all citizens of the world to raise their opposition to stoning and try to save the life of Mokarrameh Ebrahimi from stoning. Please contact the Iranian officials in Tehran and Takistan, Gahzvin and/or Iranian embassy in other countries.
For USA readers:
United States: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, D.C.
The following is from Norway's Aftenposten.
Norway blasts stoning in Iran
Norway's Foreign Ministry called in the Iranian ambassador on Tuesday, to strongly protest Iran's execution by stoning of a man convicted of adultery.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre called the stoning "inhumane and barbaric."
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said he was "deeply upset" by what he called an "inhumane and barbaric method of punishment."
Støre, who's supposed to be on summer holiday, said he was deeply worried that the executed man's female companion Mokarrameh Ebrahimi will suffer the same fate. Støre vowed to work with other countries to pressure Iran into blocking her stoning.
Norway's embassy in Iran has been ordered to help ensure that international representatives be allowed to visit Ebrahimi in jail.
Norway has long condemned stoning and already had lodged protests with Iranian officials. The Parliament's foreign relations committee threatened to cancel a long-planned visit to Iran late last month if the threatened stoning took place. It didn't, and the Norwegian parliamentarians proceeded with the visit to a country where state oil company Statoil does business.
It remained unclear whether the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s strong criticism of the stoning would have any consequences on Statoil's business activities in Iran.
Iranian officials ended up allowing the stoning, admitting it took place in a rare confirmation on Tuesday. An Iranian judiciary spokesman said Jafar Kiani was stoned to death last Thursday in Aghchekand village, 200 kilometers west of the capital.
Death sentences are carried out in Iran after they are upheld by the Supreme Court. Under Iran's Islamic law, adultery is punishable by stoning.
The judiciary spokesman didn't detail how the stoning was carried out, but a male convict is usually buried up to his waist, while a female criminal is buried up to her neck with her hands also buried. Those carrying out the verdict start throwing stones and rocks at the convict until he or she dies.
International human rights groups have long condemned stoning as "cruel and barbaric" punishment. The UN human rights chief Louise Arbour condemned the execution. The UN noted that the execution was carried out despite Iran's own moratorium on execution by stoning which had been in effect since 2002.