The PJ Tatler

Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death By Stoning May Be Hanged Instead


The woman pictured above is an Iranian mother of two children, a former kindergarten teacher, who was convicted in 2006 of the crime of adultery.

While no culture or religion condones adulterous unions, Islamic Shari’a law imposes the maximum penalty: for women, death by stoning.  Think, for a moment, about those words: “DEATH” “BY” “STONING.”  The first stone is unlikely to kill, and, in any event, there’s no such thing as “the first stone,” with multiple male stoners all pitching the largest stones they can, directly at the woman’s head.

In an article in yesterday’s Telegraphan Iranian “human rights” official (talk about oxymorons) is quoted as follows:

Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, argued in December that stoning should not be classified as a method of execution but rather a method of punishment which is actually more “lenient” because half of the people survive, the UN quoted him as saying.

But if the sentence is death by stoning, then 100% of the people thus sentenced do not, and can not, by definition, survive.

The only reason Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 44-year-old condemned woman, is still alive is that Iranian authorities harkened, as they are not often known to do, to an international outcry against her death sentence.

It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it to clarify the point, that no man with whom Ms. Ashtiani is alleged to have committed adultery has been charged, arrested, imprisoned or convicted.  One cannot commit adultery alone, yet only the woman is deemed the felon.

Another particularly grisly aspect of Islamic law, as reported by The Telegraph:

Under Islamic law in force in Iran since the 1979 revolution, adultery may be punished by death by stoning and crimes such as murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are all punishable by hanging.

So murder is punishable by hanging which, while not a gentle end to life, is sudden, swift and quickly completed. Stoning is slow, barbarous, and an appallingly repugnant atrocity.

Ashtiani, arrested in 2006, is already serving 10 years for being an accessory to her husband’s murder in a prison in the East Azerbaijan. A local judiciary official said last year that the stoning of Ashtiani had been suspended due to “humanitarian reservations”, but did not rule out possibility of her execution.

Of course, there’s no more reason to believe she was an accessory to her husband’s murder than that she did, in fact, commit adultery. An extraordinary interview with her loving 22-year-old son is here.

 A court sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to be stoned in 2006 but the sentence was suspended last year after an international outcry. However, under a judicial review being carried out she still could be hanged.

“There is no rush … our Islamic experts are reviewing Ashtiani’s sentence to see whether we can carry out the execution of a person sentenced to stoning by hanging,” said Malek Ajdar Sharifi, head of judiciary in the East Azerbaijan province.

Living as the majority of PJ Media readers do, in countries that enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, it is all the more horrifying to know that an act that affects one in 2.7 marriages in the United States is punishable by death by stoning, or — if Ms. Ashtiani is “spared,”– by hanging, at least in part because she had the misfortune to be a beautiful widow in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  A lethal fate.