Skip to main content

Iran aims to keep stoning as punishment for adultery, rights group says

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
File: A woman demonstrates against stoning and execution on August 13, 2010 outside Berlin's landmark the Brandenburg Gate.
File: A woman demonstrates against stoning and execution on August 13, 2010 outside Berlin's landmark the Brandenburg Gate.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A judicial panel has reinserted a stoning provision into a draft law, Human Rights Watch says
  • The group says Iranian authorities are holding at least 10 people who face stoning
  • The U.S. State Department cites unconfirmed reports of bodies of four women apparently stoned
  • Officials in Iran have denied the reports

(CNN) -- Stoning remains the way Iranians -- overwhelmingly women -- are punished for committing adultery, Human Rights Watch said Monday. The international group blasted a judicial council in Iraq, made up of 12 religious jurists, for inserting a stoning provision into a draft law where it had been previously removed.

Last November, security agents with the country's judiciary moved the bodies of four women who had been stoned to the Tehran medical examiner's office, according to reports on the Melli-Mazhabi site, which opposed Iran's government, the U.S. State Department says. CNN cannot confirm the reports.

According to the State Department's report, the unconfirmed accounts say the women's bodies had facial wounds that indicated torture, beatings and stoning.

Officials denied the reports but did not provide alternative explanations for the causes of death, according to the State Department report, adding that the women were allegedly charged with engaging in "illegitimate relationships" and drug use.

There are no statistics that indicate the number of stoning victims, but human rights groups say Iranian authorities are holding at least 10 women and men who face execution by stoning on adultery charges, Human Rights Watch says.

At least 70 people have been executed by stoning in Iran since 1980, the rights group said, and the last known execution by stoning was in 2009.

Iran's semiofficial Mehr News Agency reported on April 27, 2013, that the judicial group known as the Guardian Council had finished reviewing and amending the draft law and that the law would be implemented soon.

OPINION: Iran stonings are a legal nightmare

Dec 2010: Woman convicted of adultery, murder appears on Iranian TV

Nov 2010: Woman sentenced to death by stoning could be spared

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 28, 2014 -- Updated 1847 GMT (0247 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 28, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT