HIGH COMMISSIONER DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER REPORTED STONING IN IRAN, URGES HALT TO FURTHER SIMILAR EXECUTIONS
10 July 2007
United Nations High Commissioner Louise Arbour expressed serious concern today over reports that a man was stoned to death on 5 July in Takestan, in the Ghazvin Province of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The man, Jafar Kiani, and his companion, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, had reportedly been in prison for more than 11 years accused of adultery. The couple was originally scheduled to be killed by stoning on 21 June 2007, but that execution was stayed.
"I am extremely concerned that despite a stated moratorium of the Iranian Government on execution by stoning this execution has gone ahead. Stoning is in clear violation of international law, which also limits the death penalty to only the most serious, violent crimes," the High Commissioner said. "I urge the Iranian authorities to shed light on the reported execution and to stop the scheduled stoning of Mokarrameh Ebrahimi and all other such executions".
Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states in article 6 that "in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes". Article 7 of the Covenant holds that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".