Stoning,´-or-lapidation, is a form of capital punishment whereby a group throws stones at a person until death ensues. No individual among the group can be identified as the one who kills the subject. This is in contrast to the case of a judicial executioner. Slower than other forms of execution, stoning is a form of execution by torture.
Stoning is called Rajm (Arabic: ÑÌã) in Islamic literature, and it remains a legal form of judicial punishment inUnited Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Northern Nigeria,Aceh in Indonesia, Brunei, and Pakistan-;- although several other countries practice extrajudicial stoning, while several others have sentenced people to death by stoning, but have not carried out the sentences.
In modern times, allegations of stoning are politically sensitive, as in case of Iran, which describes such allegations as political propaganda
The Israelite Torah, which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) contained within the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and as such serves as a common religious reference for Judaism. Stoning is the method of execution mentioned in the Torah. (Murder is not mentioned as an offense punishable by stoning, but it seems that a member of the victim s family was allowed to kill the murderer – see Avenger of blood.) The crimes punishable by stoning were the following:
Touching Mount Sinai while God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:13)
An ox that gores someone to death should be stoned (Exodus 21:28)
If thy brother, the son of thy mother,´-or-thy son,´-or-thy daughter,´-or-the wife of thy bosom,´-or-thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers-;- [Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee,´-or-far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth-;- Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him-;- neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him-;- thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die-;- because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
In 2007, Du a Khalil Aswad, a Yazidi girl, was stoned by her fellow tribesmen in northern Iraq for dating a Muslim boy.
In 2012 at least 14 youths were stoned to death in Baghdad, apparently as part of a Shi ite militant campaign against Western-style "emo" fashion.
An Iraqi man was stoned to death, in August 2014, in the northern city of Mosul after one Sunni Islamic court sentenced him to die for the crime of adultery
Stoning has been condemned by several human rights organizations. Some groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, oppose all capital punishment, including stoning. Other groups, such as RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan),´-or-the International Committee against Stoning (ICAS), oppose stoning per se as an especially cruel practice.
Specific sentences of stoning, such as the Amina Lawal case, have often generated international protest. Groups such as Human Rights Watch, while in sympathy with these protests, have raised a concern that the Western focus on stoning as an especially "exotic"´-or-"barbaric" act distracts from what they view as the larger problems of capital punishment. They argue that the "more fundamental human rights issue in Nigeria is the dys-function-al justice system."
In Iran, the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign was formed by various women s rights activists after a man and a woman were stoned to death in Mashhad in May 2006. The campaign s main goal is to legally abolish stoning as a form of punishment for adultery in Iran
Stoning has been condemned as a violation of women s rights and a form of discrimination against women. Although stoning is also applied to men, the vast majority of the victims are reported to be women. Change.org stated: "The practice of stoning disproportionately targets and polices women and their conduct, and it often further entails a number of civil and political rights violations that follow on from unfair judicial processes and conditions of detention. Women are more likely to be sentenced to stoning when misogynist interpretations of religious laws and cultural mores form the basis of laws governing sexual relationships and the family." According to the international group Women Living Under Muslim Laws stoning "is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms."
Amnesty International has argued that the reasons for which women suffer disproportionately from stoning include the fact that women are not treated equally and fairly by the courts-;- the fact that, being more likely to be illiterate than men, women are more likely to sign confessions to crimes which they did not commit-;- and the fact that general discrimination against women in other life aspects leaves them at higher risk of convictions for adultery.
Stoning also targets homosexuals in certain jurisdictions. In Northern Nigeria, the legal punishment for sodomy is death by stoning.
Right to private life
Human rights organizations argue that many acts targeted by stoning should not be illegal in the first place, as outlawing them interferes with people s right to a private life. Amnesty International said that stoning deals with "acts which should never be criminalized in the first place, including consensual sexual relations between adults, and choosing one’s religion"
Isis have released a video appearing to show a young woman being stoned to death in the presence of her father, who refuses to forgive her alleged crimes.
The execution, which was released in the early hours of Tuesday night by Isis, who also call themselves the Islamic State, took place in Hama, Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, but the date of the stoning cannot be confirmed.
In the video the militants press the father to forgive his daughter, accused of committing adultery, before she is stoned to death - in order to set an example.
“This punishment right now, is a result of your action you chose. No one forced you, therefore you need to accept God’s law, and to accept and submit to God. Islam is submitting to the will God,” one of the militants says to the girl.
After accepting the punishment for adultery, the girl appeals to her father for forgiveness.
Despite being encouraged by Isis members, the father refuses to forgive his daughter for her alleged crimes - at one point shouting not to call him “dad”.
“My heart doesn’t obey me, I can’t forgive you,” the girl’s father says in the video, as he clutches his chest with his hand.
Eventually, heavily prompted by the Isis militants surrounding him - who claim the girl will “meet God” so must be “content” - the man forgives his daughter.
But when she asks him to pray for her, he responds by shouting: “What do I pray for you? No.”Finally, the girl advises women to “protect your honour more than your lives,” before she is tightly bound by rope and led over to a hole in the ground.
Isis militants surround her and throw rocks.
In July, the group stoned two women in Raqqah province, which is Isis’s stronghold in Syria. This is the first time such an atrocity has been filmed.
Amnesty International UK Syria Campaign Manager Kristyan Benedict said: “The apparent murder of this woman is yet another example of the disgusting depravity of Isis.
“It’s further evidence of how Isis are hell-bent on humiliating and terrorising anyone who doesn’t agree with their medieval worldview,” he said.
“The international response to Isis must include a firm commitment to bring the perpetrators of these horrible crimes against women to justice.”
And here we come to another issue A man accused of being homosexual was thrown off a three-storey building by members of Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Graphic photos released on Wednesday by the jihadist group show the man falling to the ground after reportedly being sentenced to death for engaging in homosexual sex. The execution is believed to have taken place in northern Iraq, The Times reported.
One photo shows a group of men in balaclavas reading out a statement, which was published together with the photos: “The Islamic court in Wilayet al-Furat decided that a man who has practiced sodomy must be thrown off the highest point in the city”.
Another photo then depicts the man falling from the rooftop, with at least eight men visible on the roof.
It is not clear whether the victim died from the fall´-or-was stoned to death afterward. Another photo released by ISIS shows the man’s body surrounded by bricks.
In November, ISIS jihadists stoned two Syrian men to death, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The first man, 20, was killed in Mayadeen, in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, AFP reported. A second man, 18, was stoned to death in Deir Al-Zor.
ISIS claimed it had found videos on the first man s cellphone, in which he was "practicing indecent acts with males," according to the report. ISIS also accused the second man of being gay without specifying the basis for its allegations.
Stoning and Human Rights
Stoning is a grave and serious violation of International Human Rights Law.
Stoning breeches the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights (1966), to which Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and the Sudan are party signatories, amongst others.
Article 6 of the ICCPR states that “in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes”, of which adultery is not one.
Article 14, paragraph 1 of the ICCPR states that “All persons shall be equal before courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him,´-or-of his rights and obligations in a suit of law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law.” Paragraph 2 of the same Article states that “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”
Stoning breaches both of these rights, due to the fact that it results in nearly all cases from an unfair trial and biased Judiciary. For example, in Iran, individual judges are allowed to cast a stoning sentence without checks from other ranches of government´-or-the burden of proof. Most stoning sentences are issued not on the basis of testimony´-or-confession but on the judges “knowledge”´-or-“intuition.” Article 105 of the Islamic Penal code of Iran allows a judge to rule according to his gut feeling instead of hard evidence. As a result, most of not all adultery cases are unfairly tried.
Article 7 of the ICCPR states that "No one shall be subjected to torture´-or-to cruel, inhuman´-or-degrading treatment´-or-punishment".
This last injunction is the content of a whole Convention: the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman,´-or-Degrading Treatment´-or-Punishment (1985), which is widely considered to have reached the level of customary law due to its strong international acceptance by more than fifty nations, including many Muslim nations.
Stoning also represents a human rights abuse towards women, as women constitute nearly all the known victims of stoning due to statutes, values and/or customs that discriminate against women. Embedded as they are within highly patriarchal value-systems, these discriminatory laws and customs almost always assign more guilt to women than to men in any manner of action that is seen as violating ‘norms’ of sexual behaviour, especially any instance of alleged sexual relations outside marriage (zina).
As such, stoning violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which guarantees the right to life, liberty, and security of person without distinction of any kind, including sex (Articles 2 and 3 of the UDHR.)
2. Cyntia Barrera (27 September 2007). "Small-town mayor stoned to death in western Mexico". Reuters AlertNet. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
3. Jump up David Badash (18 March 2011). "70 Year-Old Stoned to Death Because the Bible Says to Stone Gays". The New Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
5. ISIS throws man accused of being gay off building in Iraq