Stoning of a woman is upheld
Date: 2008/12/31   

The 27th District of Iranian Supreme Court approved the stoning sentence of Afsaneh,
a woman from Shiraz, Iran.

The original stoning order of this woman came from the 5th Court
District in Shiraz in Fars Province. It was then appealed to a higher
court in the country, who approved the decision under case file 588.

Branch 5 of this court approved the decision on 21 Farvadin 1387
(Iranian calendar) and ordered the sentence of killing by stoning of
Afsaneh. In this order, considering to the laws relevant to this file
and the statements of the accused, the court came to the conclusion
that the defendant purposefully and consciously chose to commit
murder. Her partner and accomplice to the murder, a man named Reza,
was sentenced to 15 years in jail with 100 lashes.

The defendant's appeal to a higher court was rejected. The judge in
District 27 of the court approved this sentence in 14 Mordad 1387.
This comes at a time when the spokesman for the Iranian Judiciary
announced in a press conference that Iran would no longer enforce the
law of stoning for any of the accused.

Gholamhossein Raesi, head of the Lawyers for Human Rights commission
in the Fars province stated: "This order was based on the 'knowledge'
of 'feeling' of one Judge, and contradicts the law of Islam on
punishments for adultery."

He explained that the crime of adultery could be proven two ways.
First is based on the confession of the accused. The second is based
on eye-witnesses. Therefore, according to law 99 in the Islamic
criminal code, the judge's "knowledge" or "feeling" is illegitimate
when trying the crime of adultery.

Gholamhossein Raesi explained that differences exist within the laws
themselves and the beliefs of the Islamic leaders concerning this
punishment. But he refers to the new Islamic criminal code that was
recently ratified in the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), saying: "Even if
the order about Afsaneh was given before the approval of the new law
in Majlis, the repeat of the punishment of stoning contradicts the
current laws enforced our society. The act of stoning requires much
discussion among Iranian lawmakers and the international human rights
community. Stoning goes against the current law enforced in our
society as well as international human rights law. It seems that the
lawmakers in Iran are not genuinely interested in stopping this
punishment."

Translated by: Rochelle Terman, SKSW Campaign from the original
Persian, Rooz Online.

To read original article in Persian/Farsi, go to:
http://www.roozonline.com/archives/2008/11/post_10306.php

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