Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nine Iranians sentenced to death by stoning despite moratorium

Iran has handed down death by stoning sentences to eight women and one man convicted of adultery, despite an alleged moratorium on the punishment, The Guardian reported Monday.

Iranian lawyers highlighted the cases Sunday as they campaigned to eliminate stoning in the Islamic Republic. They claim that most of the nine have in fact been the victims of violence.

“These women mostly come from the illiterate masses and did not have money or access to a lawyer. Many did not understand Farsi and, of course, all the interrogations were in Farsi,” said Shadi Sadr, a prominent human rights lawyer. “In all of the cases, there has been violence against them, or they have been forced into marriages, or their divorce applications have been refused. In some cases, they couldn’t apply for a divorce due to family pressures.”

While the lawyers are urging Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the country’s judiciary chief, to issue pardons, it is believed that his influence is limited.

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