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IRAN: Hard-line official insists stoning penalty for adultery stands, but is under a required review

The hard-line chief of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, the longtime political operator and insider Mohammad-Javad Larijani, says the sentence of stoning against an impoverished mother of two accused of adultery stands, even though it is under a required review. 

Iran-mohammad-javad-larijaniIn other words, 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani could still be buried up to her neck and pelted with small rocks until she dies because she was convicted of having sex outside of marriage.

Larijani, a well-connected regime loyalist, blamed the Western media for making a big deal out of nothing.

"Our judicial system cannot change its course because of Western attack and media pressure," he told the official Islamic Republic News Agency in a report published late Friday (in Persian). "The Western media's attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran comes under a pretext every time, and in recent years it is the instructions of the Islamic religious law that have been the target of their attacks."

No one's quite sure what's next for Ashtiani. Larijani said Ashtiani's sentence of death by stoning had not been rescinded, contradicting a statement issued Thursday by the Islamic Republic's embassy in London. 

"Regarding this criminal, I must point out that first of all the punishment of death by stoning exists in our constitution but the esteemed judges issue this verdict on very rare occasions," said Larijani, whose brothers include the head of the judiciary branch and the speaker of parliament. "This case has passed its long procedure, and the defendant was first sentenced to 90 lashes and then, in another court, to death by stoning. The review of this sentence in currently underway."

Her lawyer said even if they halt the stoning, he's worried they'll put her to death by some other means. "We do not know which penalty will be substituted for stoning," her lawyer told Babylon & Beyond. 

He said he's asked for her pardon four times, especially since no private individual is seeking her prosecution -- just the government. "For the sake of the Islamic system and its reputation in the world, nobody should be stoned to death anymore," said Ashtiani's lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai. "If the judiciary branch is attaching importance to the prestige of the system in the world, then the stoning should be stopped."

But Larijani, whom Western diplomats have described as a cynical and power-hungry solider of the Islamic Republic, rejected the contention that the judiciary should consider world opinion or that the high-profile international campaign in support of Ashtiani might make Iran's judicial authorities think twice about putting her to death for committing a sex crime. 

"The commotion that the Western media has started in connection with this case will not affect our judges' views," he said. "The execution of Islamic religious laws on death by stoning, hijab and inheritance has always faced their audacious animosity and basically any issue which hints of religious law is always opposed by them." 

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Mohammad-Javad Larijani. Credit: Islamic Republic News Agency
Comments () | Archives (32)


Where is the moderator? HoosierD's comment should have been flagged and pulled -- it's inflammatory and offensive.

Arcane and barbaric.

Iran and its perverse Islamic practices have no place in today's world. Iran is stuck in a way of life 2,000 years out of date. All the nations of the world, for their own sake, need to shun this retarded, infantile country.

THIS is why Islam is to be feared and resisted by any and everyone who loves and treasures life and humanity.

So how many MEN have committed Adultery in IRAN and using the just laws of the land, been stoned to death?

And I don't want to be cynical, well yes I do and will - So how many women who have been stoned to death in Iran for "Adultry" actually were raped by a married man who then went on to accuse that women of adultery to save face in his family? You know the man got caught because he was bragging to other family members or his wife found out, right?

A country can use whatever laws they want within their own country such as Iran is doing. But the world can and has the right to also judge that country using our standards of decency, normalcy, and basic gender neutral human rights. Those are our standards and how we view the world.

A country doesn't have to change (it's their country) but they will then need to accept criticism from countries and people that differ from them.

And for having such brilliant minds, Iran (yes, their men in power) need to take a just mental leap here and apply "their laws" to men as well as women.

Here comes the next wave of anti Iran propaganda conditioning us to accept a war with Iran. The atificial left right paradigm sold by the media is a lie. Wake up. I would say that we have even odds on this woman existence. Oh.... we must destroy the evil sexist Iranian men. How dare a person be held to a standard of fidelity.

To Socorro Varela-

Your ignorance is far more dangerous than Islam. No place in the Koran is stoning for prescribed for ANY offense. You benefit from Islam's contributions to science and mathematics every day. The only thing Satanic in this world is the fear that comes from our lack of knowledge and low self-confidence.

What needs to be done is for western countries to put murder indictments on these Iranian officials so that anytime they step out Iran, there is a threat that they will be arrested for this crime.

So where is the man who she slept with? Isn't there any consequences for his actions? Of course not. A lot of religions the men get away with almost anything. Men are pigs.

Seems like a man had something to do with it. To bad Islamic law doesn't accept the blame of men as well, but of course the lawmakers are all men, and they may have done something similar, either in the past, or now, or in the future.

They should distribute any punishment to both, or neither. Failure to do so means that it isn't really religious law, but something made up to give men the excuse to abuse women.

It's getting close to time to make a new parking lot in Iran. If we start small, maybe the citizens can be coaxed into removing the reppressive, lying regime.

Salmon Rushdi was right in his assertion that Islam is Satanic in origin. How else can you explain this.

This is incredulous and an insult to humanity. The world is watching IRAN. This only confirms that islam is evil and has no room for human frailty and compassion. The world is watching IRAN.

Larijani looks like he's probably touched quite a few little boys in his time...

You know the least they could do is modernize this savage law. You know maybe rather than throwing stones you could wrap a rope around their necks and pull them out of the ground breaking their necks. Heck I think in the movie they even make bacon from the dead bodies... so at least there is a little positive coming from all the negative... Come on Allah lighten up a bit........

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