Monday, December 20, 2004
Barbarism in Iran
Even Iran's chief justice has seemed to recognise that, although stoning is prescribed by Sharia law as the punishment for women who have sexual relations with men to whom they are not married, pelting a woman to death with rocks counts as excessively cruel.
Two years ago, he ruled that, while stonings should still be the nominal punishment for adultery and pre-marital sex, that sentence should be routinely commuted to execution by hanging.
It appears from the fate in store for Zhila Izadyar, however, that his commitment to the de facto abolition of stoning was about as sincere as the Iranian government's commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are no plans to change any of the provisions of the Penal Code that relate to children, and which state that girls as young as nine can be executed (boys have to reach the age of 14 before they can be killed).
More on the niceties of "divinely ordained justice" in Iran here, here and here, by Amnesty.