AFP: Iran said on Tuesday that a man convicted of adultery had been stoned to death in a village in northwestern Iran, the first time it has confirmed such an execution in five years. TEHRAN, July 10, 2007 (AFP) – Iran said on Tuesday that a man convicted of adultery had been stoned to death in a village in northwestern Iran, the first time it has confirmed such an execution in five years.
“This case has been recently executed in the village that was mentioned,” judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told reporters about the stoning of Jafar Kiani in the village of Aghche Kand in Qazvin province.
“The verdict was implemented because it was definitive,” Jamshidi said, implying it was approved by the supreme court, which must uphold all execution orders.
Under Iran’s Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning although in late 2002, judiciary head Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi had issued a directive suspending the practice.
In June, the Fars news agency reported that the judiciary had halted the stoning of a man and a woman in Qazvin province, believed to be the same man who has now been executed.
The judiciary had up until now vehemently denied any stonings since 2002, although rights activists and press reports have on occasion claimed that such verdicts have been carried out.
Under the punishment of stoning, a male convict is buried up to his waist with his hands tied behind his back, while a female offender is buried up to her neck with her hands also buried.
The spectators and officials attending the public execution start throwing stones and rocks at the convict, who is theoretically released if he is able to free himself.
A group of women’s rights activists headed by feminist lawyer Shadi Sadr have been campaigning to have the sentence wholly removed from the statute books.
The stoning brings to at least 110 the number of executions carried out in the Islamic republic so far this year. At least 177 people were executed in 2006, according to Amnesty International.
Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, blasphemy, serious drug trafficking, repeated sodomy, adultery or prostitution, treason and espionage.