Stoning in Iran

However, she completely neglects the very reality that she is also guilty of human rights violations by imposing and inflicting the horrible and humiliating punishments upon the sex offenders in the form of stoning them to death because of developing extra-marital sexual relationships with one or more person(s). Since stoning to death maintains neither any religious background nor is it observed in any other part of the world except Iran, the dreadful act of stoning witnesses no justification in its nature and scope. The present study aims to analyse the implementation of the punishment by exploring its validity through the Islamic jurisprudence on the one hand, and its cultural and revengeful historical background on the other in order to prove or disapprove the validity of the so called justifiable penalty observed by the Iranian government of contemporary times. Stoning is one of the most popular traditional punishments applied by the authorities on the sex offenders and adulterers, so that the viewers and spectators can take it as an exemplar and could avoid sex offences altogether in their individual and collective life. Since the Iranians consider stoning a highly effective method to prevent the masses from violation of the moral ethics and religious values, in order to protect the nation from becoming prey to the moral decline at large, stoning is vehemently practiced in all parts of the state on offenders without any discrimination of caste, class, community, region, age and sex. At a time when momentum is gathering across the world to abolish capital punishment, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) currently ranks second for number of executions, after China, and first for per capita executions in the world. According to the World Coalition against the Death Penalty, Iran executed at least 317 people in 2007, almost twice as many as in 2006 and four times as many as in 2005. In 2008, at least 346 executions were recorded. (FIDH, 2009: 3) Hence, this type of ruthless punishment is admired, projected and supported by the Iranians without taking into considerations the severity of the trial the offenders undergo by becoming prey to the slow and painful death penalty. The history of stoning in Iran is not far to seek. on the contrary, it finds its roots over three decades ago, when the religious leadership came at the helm of the government after the successful revolution against the pro-western monarchical regime of the Emperor Raza Shah Pahlavi in February 1979. Amnesty International says that at least eight people were stoned to death in 1986. Somehow, few people have linked this to the passing of a law that year which allowed the hiring of judges with minimal experience and that it led to an increase in the number of judges from a traditional religious background. (Wooldridge, 2010: quoted in bbc.co.uk) Though the revolution was the reaction to the prevailing class discrimination of the monarchical Iran, yet it was hijacked by the religious leaders, who introduced strict laws in the name of religion and inflicted severe and harsh punishments upon their political and social opponents. Stoning and floggings were also introduced in the country, and the sex offenders became the worst prey of the religious regime, which left no stone unturned to suppress the liberal masses under the chariot