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A Campaign to Stop Stoning | The Nation

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Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt

Politics, feminism, culture, books and daily life.

A Campaign to Stop Stoning

Iranian judges apparently didn't get the memo about the moratorium onstoning issued in 2002 by Ayatollah Shahroudi, head of the judiciary.According to Amnesty International, nine women and two men arecurrently in prison awaiting this cruel and barbaric punishment, whichis usually meted out for sexual transgressions.

In May of 2006 a man and a woman were reportedly stoned in Mashhad and the government hasofficially confirmed the stoning on July 5, 2007 in the village ofAghche-kand of Jafar Kiani, convicted of "adultery" along withMokarrameh Ebrahimi, with whom he had two children. She has beensentenced to stoning also and is currently in prison with one of herchildren.

In the most recent case, two sisters, Zohreh and Azar Kabiri, havebeen sentenced to stoning for "adultery." (This sentence came afterthe ninety-nine lashes meted out for "inappropriate relations," which came aftera trial notable for its lack of due process.). Equality Now has the whole horrific story, with addresses of officials to address letterscalling for a ban on stoning and the decriminalization of "adultery."

The Iranian activist group Stop Stoning Forever has been pressing fora ban since the 2006 stonings. It was their network of volunteerlawyers, in fact, who identified the prisoners facing this punishment,and took up their cases. So far they have saved four women and one man;the sentence of another woman has been temporarily stayed.

The courage of these activists is breathtaking; several are currently underindictment for participating in a demonstration in support of women'srights. You can sign Stop Stoning Forever's online petition here.

Women Living Under Muslim laws has more information about the StopStoning campaign, and a sample letter about the case of the Kabirisisters.

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