A married couple could no longer cope with the pressures in order to meet their daily expenses, so much so, that they had to resort to prostitution just so they could make ends meet. But because they were married, the IRI judiciary sentenced them to death for committing ‘adultery’. The husband, Rahim Mohammadi, was hanged for sodomy on the 5th October, 2009; his surviving wife, Kobra Babaei has been scheduled to be stoned to death. Even though, amidst international pressure, Iran had imposed a moratorium on stoning, it appears to have reached the end of its tenure, and is now back on the judiciary’s list of punishments to be meted out. How anyone has the heart to carry out such a heinous and barbaric act of evil is beyond words or meditation.
What is of material significance is that the reader, you, can do something to try and battle the death sentence of stoning from being both carried out and from being prescribed in the first place. Below is a letter that I e-mailed to the Head of the Judiciary in Iran, as well as the Director of Human Rights Head-Quarters of Iran – incidentally they are both Mr Larijani. Please e-mail, write or fax them to prevent Kobra Babaei from being murdered, and to ensure that the IRI do not ever sanction nor carry out the lamentable practice of stoning.
To make things easier, copy and paste the below e-mail and send it if you do not have the time to draft your own appeal. I also argued against stoning from an Islamic perspective, as the IRI would rely on Islam to justify their laws and actions. Details are as follows:
“Dear Mr Larijani,
Kobra Babaei has been sentenced to death by stoning. As we are all aware, the stoning of an ‘adulterer’ is prescribed by Article 83 of the Islamic Penal Code of Iran.
This is a grave error for two reasons, 1) it violates human rights norms and standards; and 2) it violates the principles of Islam and deterrence.
Firstly, even though the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran did not ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR), and that it was done so by the government under the Shah’s regime; nevertheless, Iran is still bound by such a legal obligation, and cannot repeal it. This is by virtue of the rule of law and jus cogens. Thus, to execute anyone by stoning would constitute a serious breach of Article 7 ICCPR, the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Furthermore, the Human Rights Commission’s General Comment 20(44) on Article 7 ICCPR (CCPR/C/21/Add.3), when assessing execution methods in the case of Ng v Canada, concluded that Iran’s practice of death by stoning was a clear and accurate example of death by ‘prolonged physical and mental suffering’, which violates Article 7 ICCPR. Therefore, to administer the execution of any person by stoning is a breach of international law, and is thus, a crime. On such grounds, stoning should not be prescribed by law, nor must it be practiced.
Secondly, the Islamic Republic of Iran claims that Articles 83 -104 of the Penal Code is in accordance with Islamic Shari’a. May I bring to your attention that such a punishment was never meant to be executed, and that it was meant to serve as a deterrent. A deterrent ‘deters’ people, and is not an actual practice. Firstly, there is no mention of adultery, nor stoning whatsoever in the Quran. If one refers to Quran 24:002, they will find that a hundred stripes was prescribed for the ‘fornicator/fornicatress’. There is no mention of stoning, nor adultery. With regards to Hadith, stoning is prescribed. However, there are stringent conditions that have to be met, by virtue of the same Hadith, and yet they are impossible to satisfy; unless an official fabricates/manipulates it. First off, there is confession, which no one in their sane mind would confess to a crime, knowing they would be stoned to death for it. And if they are insane, then Islam dictates that such an insane person should be pardoned and not punished. The only confession that would come from a sane person is one that has been forced; under Islamic guidance, a forced confession is void and worth nothing. In any event, one cannot give much credence to a confession by one under the charge of adultery.
Then there is adultery proven via four male eye-witness testimonies. Each and every one of the four witnesses must be able to account detail for detail the sexual activity, which must include the act of sexual penetration. Their testimonies cannot vary from each others’, otherwise they will be guilty of ‘qadf’ (false accusation) and be subject to 80 lashes of the whip. As a result, no one would volunteer their statement as a witness, given they might risk being incorrect and be severely punished for qadf. It is also highly unlikely that the act of sexual penetration could have been witnessed. As a result, there can be no credible nor admissible evidence to condemn Kobra babaei to death, especially death by stoning, if Islam is to be relied upon.
The international community refuses to accept that there were four independent and credible witnesses, who not only saw the entire act, they could also account for it word for word, in corroboration of each others’ testimonies. Furthermore, even if adultery had been committed, because of such a draconian rule of law, no one would perform adultery in full view of anyone, let alone four people. So there can be no true witness, nor any credible confession.
Thus, stoning cannot be executed, and nor must it be carried out. To do so is to commit murder, which is not only a breach of national and international law, it is also an unforgivable sin – Quran 5:32 ‘to murder a person is as if to murder all the people’.
I urge and appeal to you to not only overturn Kobra Babaei’s execution, but to comply with the standards of humanity, which has no place for stoning; outlaw the practice of stoning once and for all.”
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Islamic Republic of Iran
And copies to:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran Mohammad Javad Larijani
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
Also, campaign the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, United Nations at email@example.com. One may argue that to communicate with the authorities to overturn Kobra’s death sentence, or to try and bring an end to stoning will be in vain, given that the authorities will take no notice and shall proceed with such a barbaric and inhuman practice. However, one must try, for trying is better than doing nothing.