EU's French presidency condemns stonings in Iran

25th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

European Union’s French presidency calls for a halt to the planned stoning of eight women and one man sentenced to death for adultery.

25 July 2008

BRUSSELS - The European Union's French presidency condemned on Thursday the planned stoning of eight women and one man sentenced to death for adultery, calling for a halt to their execution.

"The European Union urges Iran to put an immediate stop to these executions and to commute the death sentences by stoning that have just been passed," the EU's French presidency said in a statement.

It said it was "deeply concerned" by the fate of the nine, stressing that Iran had pledged to introduce a moratorium on stoning.

Under Iran's Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning, which involves the public hurling stones at the convict buried up to his waist. A woman is buried up to her shoulders.

A 2002 directive by judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi imposed a moratorium on such executions.

However, in July 2007 the Islamic republic drew international outrage by stoning to death a man convicted of adultery, Jafar Kiani, in a village in the northwest of the country.

"The European Union urges Iran to abide by its commitments and international human rights standards," the French presidency of the EU said.

"The European Union calls on the Iranian government and parliament to abolish, in law and in practice, recourse to cruel and degrading punishment and in particular the use of stoning as a method of execution," it added.

[AFP / Expatica]

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