Death penalty/ stoning

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AI Index: MDE 13/111/2006
27 September 2006

UA 256/06

Death penalty/ stoning


Parisa Akbari (f)
Iran Eskandari (f)
Khayrieh Valania (f)
Shamameh Ghorbani (also known as Malek) (f)
Kobra Najjar (f, aged 44)
Soghra Mola’i (f)
Fatemeh (f)

The women named above are at risk of execution by stoning.

Parisa Akbari was arrested in April 2004, while working as a
prostitute in the city of Shiraz in southern Iran. She confessed
to the charge of adultery during the preliminary investigations,
claiming that she had been forced into prostitution by her husband
due to the family’s poverty. Her trial took place in June 2004,
during which Parisa Akbari retracted her confession. Nevertheless,
on 21 June 2004, Branch 5 of Fars province Criminal Court
sentenced her to death by stoning for adultery. The sentence was
upheld by Branch 32 of the Supreme Court on 15 November 2005. Her
case is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Parisa
Akbari is detained in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.

Iran Eskandari, an Ahwazi Arab from the Bakhtiari clan, was
reportedly talking to the son of a neighbour in the courtyard of
her house, when her husband attacked her with a knife. She was
badly beaten and left bleeding and unconscious on the floor. While
she was unconscious, it is alleged that the man killed her husband
with his own knife. While police were interrogating her about the
killing, Iran Eskandari reportedly confessed to adultery with the
son of her neighbour. However she later retracted her confession.
A court in the city of Khuzestan sentenced her to five years’
imprisonment for being an accomplice in the murder of her husband,
and to execution by stoning for adultery. The verdict was upheld
by the Supreme Court in April 2006. Her lawyer has appealed
against the sentence. She is detained in Sepidar prison, in Ahvaz

Khayrieh Valania, an Ahwazi Arab, was reportedly subjected to
domestic violence by her husband. She allegedly began an affair
with a relative of her husband, who then murdered him. She was
sentenced to death by Branch 3 of Behbahan Court, in Khuzestan in
southwestern Iran, for being an accomplice in the murder of her
husband, and death by stoning for adultery. Khayrieh Valania has
denied any involvement in her husband’s murder, but confessed to
adultery. The sentence was upheld, and the case has reportedly
been sent to the Head of the Judiciary for permission to be
implemented. Talking about her fate, Khayrieh Valania said “I am
ready to be hanged, but they should not stone me. They could
strangle you and you would die, but it is very difficult to have
stones hitting you in the head”.

Shamameh Ghorbani (also known as Malek), arrested in June 2005,
was sentenced to execution by stoning for adultery by a court in
Oromieh in June 2006. She is reportedly held in Oromieh prison.
Her brothers and husband reportedly murdered a man that they found
in her house, and she too was nearly killed after they stabbed her
with a knife. Shamameh Ghorbani’s case is reportedly being re-

Kobra Najjar, who is detained in Tabriz prison in northwestern
Iran, is at imminent risk of execution. She was sentenced to eight
years’ imprisonment for being an accomplice to the murder of her
husband, and execution by stoning for adultery. She was scheduled
to be executed after serving her prison sentence, which was
finished two years ago. She has reportedly written to the Judicial
Commission for Amnesty to ask for her sentence of execution by
stoning to be commuted, and is awaiting a reply. Kobra Najjar was
allegedly forced into prostitution by her husband, a heroin addict
who was violent towards her. In 1995, after a severe beating by
her husband, she told one of her regular customers that she wanted
to kill her husband. The customer allegedly murdered her husband
after Kobra Najjar took him to an arranged meeting place. He was
sentenced to death, but he was pardoned by the victim’s family, to
whom he paid diyeh (blood money).

Soghra Mola’i was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for being an
accomplice to the murder in January 2004 of her husband Abdollah,
and to execution by stoning for adultery. During interrogation she
said “My husband usually tormented me. Nevertheless, I did not
intend to kill him. On the night of the incident … after Alireza
killed my husband, I ran away with him because I was scared to
stay at home, thinking that my brothers-in-law would kill me.”
Alireza was sentenced to death for the murder of Soghra Mola’i’s
husband, and to 100 lashes for “illicit relations”. The sentences
are pending examination by the Supreme Court. It is believed that
Soghra Mola’i is detained in Reja’i Shahr prison, Karaj, near

In May 2005, Branch 71 of the Tehran Province Criminal Court
sentenced Fatemeh (surname unknown) to retribution (qesas) for
being an accomplice to murder, and execution by stoning for having
an ‘illicit relationship’ with a man named Mahmoud. Her husband
was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment for being an accomplice to
the murder of Mahmoud. The case is currently being examined in the
Supreme Court. According to a May 2005 report in the newspaper
Etemad, an altercation occurred between Mahmoud, and Fatemeh’s
husband. Fatemeh confessed to tying a rope around Mahmoud’s
throat, which resulted in his strangulation. She has claimed that
she intended merely to tie his hands and feet after he was
unconscious and hand him over to the police.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION Amnesty International is aware of two other
women under sentence of execution by stoning in Iran, Ashraf
Kalhori (see UA 203/06, MDE 13/083/2006, 27 July 2006; and
updates), and Hajieh Esmailvand (see UA 336/04, MDE 13/053/2004,
16 December 2004; and updates). The Head of the Judiciary
announced a moratorium on the use of stoning in December 2002, but
reports indicate a man and a woman may have been stoned to death
in May 2006.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as
possible, in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language:
– calling for the sentences of execution by stoning of the seven
women named above (naming them) to be commuted immediately;
– stating your unconditional opposition to the death penalty, as
the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation
of the right to life;
– reminding the Iranian authorities that the UN Human Rights
Committee (in the case of Toonen v Australia) has made clear that
treating adultery and fornication as criminal offences does not
comply with international human rights standards. Therefore the
sentence of execution by stoning for adultery breaches Iran’s
commitment under article 6(2) of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights that death sentences will be imposed
“only for the most serious crimes”;
– calling for the abolition of execution by stoning in Iran as a
positive step towards implementing international law and standards
for the protection of human rights.

(Time difference = GMT + 3.5 hrs / BST + 2.5 hrs):
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the
Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir OR istiftaa@wilayah.org
[Salutation: Your Excellency ]

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of
Email: Please send emails via the feedback form on the Persian
site of the website: http://www.iranjudiciary.org/contactus-
(The text of the feedback form translates as: 1st line: name, 2nd
line: email address, 3rd line: subject heading, then enter your
email into the text box)
[Salutation: Your Excellency]

Reza Nafez Arefi, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, 16 Prince’s
Gate, London SW7 1PT. Fax: 020 7589 4440, Email: info@iran-

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after
8 November 2006.


Amnesty International may be used unless otherwise stated in the text above. Letters written in a
private or personal capacity may be more effective.
FAX NUMBER NOT WORKING? Officials will sometimes switch off their fax machines to stop
appeals arriving – please keep trying. If you can’t get through, please
put your appeal in the post. If a number is unobtainable please inform the Urgent Action team.
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RECEIVED A REPLY FROM A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL? Please send it or a copy to the
Urgent Action team. If appropriate, thank the official who has replied and ask
to be kept informed about the case.

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