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Iran: Man Sentenced to Be Stoned to Death for Adultery

(June 22, 2009) It was reported on May 8, 2009, that a 30-year-old man was sentenced to be stoned to death in Iran on the charge of adultery. Under Islamic law, expression of repentance by a person who has been convicted of committing adultery absolves the person from execution. In the case involving the 30-year-old man, the woman with whom he committed adultery expressed her repentance and thus was saved from being stoned to death. In December 2008, two men convicted of adultery were stoned to death in the city of Meshed; a third man was able to climb out of the hole in which those to be stoned were placed and run away. In such cases, Islamic law provides that the life of a person who can escape from the hole should be spared; the person cannot be brought back and stoned to death.

Iran's judiciary ordered a moratorium on the punishment of stoning to death in 2002, pending a review of it, but the moratorium only lasted a couple of years. In a new draft of the Criminal Code, the punishment of stoning to death, which is only applied to the crime of adultery, has been dropped. The draft law has to be approved by the House of Representatives and the Guardian Council. (Man Sentenced to Be Stoned to Death for Adultery, IRAN TIMES, May 8, 2009, at 2.)