A Blog Written By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi
By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi -Roozonline 2007.07.12
As was expected, the stoning of a villager in Takistan, Ghazvin a few days ago led to wide international media coverage. Inside Iran, judiciary spokesperson Alireza Jamshidi confirmed the stoning that was carried out in Takistan but also announced new death sentences for 20 thugs.
With this news, it appears that while Iran is already among the leading countries in the number of annual executions, it intends to keep this record during 2007. Regarding the Takistan stoning and the news that the head of the judiciary had ordered the stay of execution of the stoning judgment, the judiciary spokesperson said, “The judiciary did not intend to execute these judgments in this manner (i.e. stoning) and the order of the head of the judiciary was intended to ensure greater care by the judges in issuing and implementing such judgments. But in this particular case, the sentence (of stoning) was carried out because the judgment had already been passed.” “Whether the order of the head of the judiciary is a constraining factor in the independence of the judge is a deeper discussion issue. While the judge remains independent, the order of the head of the judiciary requires that more care be exercised in carrying out such judgments.”
This latest incident of stoning comes after human rights activists and lawyers have for years been calling for an end to such practices and a change in the laws regarding this practice, while also declaring that a mere judiciary circular in this regard is not sufficient to stop this practice.
On July 4, 2007, the leader of the Islamic Republic called on a group of visiting women from the academia, research centers and religious seminaries to confront feminist propaganda and views and in relation to the efforts to streamline Islamic laws with international conventions on women said, “Certainly some rules on women that are defined in Islamic law are not final and can be adjusted upon research by a skillful and competent faghih (Islamic scholar leader), but the efforts of some pro-Western individuals to change Islamic decrees and making them in harmony with some international conventions is completely wrong.”