Stop the Stoning: International Effort to Ban Practice of Stoning Needed Now More Than Ever

So far this year about 126 people in Iran have been executed.

At any moment Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a mother of 2, could be the next.

Her crime?
Adultery – a crime she only confessed to after being lashed 99 times. 

TAKE ACTION: Bring an end to stoning as a form of punishment!

She later retracted her confession and asked forgiveness from the court but was denied clemency. After all as a woman her testimony is only worth half that of a man’s under Iranian law. Ashtiani has now been in prison for 5 years awaiting her execution.

As the punishment stands, Ashtiani faces being buried up to her chest, then having stones hurled at her — stones large enough to cause pain, but not large enough to kill her immediately. As is often the case with stoning sentences, the day of her execution is kept secret until the very last minute adding to the suffering the victim and their families endure.

Ashtiani is not alone. According to Amnesty International, “The majority of those sentenced to death by stoning are women, who suffer disproportionately from such punishment,” the human rights group said in a 2008 report.

In light of Ashtiani’s case and that of other prisoners Amnesty has called on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt all executions and reduce all death sentences to less severe punishments.

Luckily for Ashtiani, Amnesty isn’t alone either.

The State Department has also criticized the stoning noting serious concerns about human rights violations by the Iranian government.

“We have grave concerns that the punishment does not fit the alleged crime,” said Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley said. “From the United States’ standpoint, we don’t think putting women to death for adultery is an appropriate punishment.”

Human rights activist Mina Ahadi, head of the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty, is also championing for Ashtiani’s release. Ahadi herself was forced to flee a death sentence almost 30 years ago in Iran. Ahadi says an international campaign from activists worldwide is Ashtiani’s best chance.   

“We have experienced again and again that when we organize events worldwide, when we protest worldwide, and in particular when we contact European governments and these government put pressure on the Islamic regime in Iran sometimes we have a chance,” said Ahadi.

In an open letter to the international community, Ashanti’s children have also pled for their mother’s release.

“Today we stretch out our hands to the people of the whole world. It is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived of motherly love. Is
the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing about it?”

The children have also spoken to The Guardian sharing the fear they feel for their mother’s life. “Imagining her, bound inside a deep hole in the ground, stoned to death, has been a nightmare for me and my sister for all these years.”

I sincerely hope it is not too late for Ashtiani.


Call for Ashtiani’s release and a permanent end to stoning.

Photo from the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty website -


Marie Grenon
Marie G8 years ago

Not only in Iran, anywhere in any galaxie should stoning not exist!

Leni S.
Leni S.8 years ago

its up 2 ppl in iran 2 change laws,not outsiders

Past Member
Past Member 8 years ago

Iran is a wonderful country but the politics are dirty. Men are free to do what they like but women are punished as it is in Saudi too.

WAKE UP you Iran and Saudi are interpret religion as it should be but NOT terrorize people in the name of religion. In all religions there is forgiveness even in Islam but it is NOT practised

David K.
David K8 years ago

I believe execution is a barbarous state activity wherever it is practised. But Stoning is not merely barbarous it is indescribably cruel and reflects hugely on those participating. But if a lady resisted 99 lashes of torture before admitting adultery she is certainly actually innocent. No wonder she retracted at the first opportunity. My contempt for all the beasts involved in this miscarriage of justice is total.

Jessica Barry
Jessica Barry8 years ago

It is truly horrific to see what happens to women in the name of 'justice' Stoning to death anyone should have been outlawed centuries ago. I don't care whether she had an affair or not, her private life is no one else's buisiness.

Judi Pittonet
Judi Pittonet8 years ago

This is barraric!!!Ban stoning in all countries!!!Barraric what people do to people!!!

.8 years ago


Past Member
Past Member 8 years ago

They should stone mohammed to death ,he was a low life degenerate, an adulterer and a murder and pedophile etc....islamic laws are antiquated, backwards, ignorant, false, unjust, cruel, and down right evil... they violate human rights and civil rights and they are based on a fascist , tyrant, murderer that had no right creating morality or laws.... Iran and the ayatollah are fascist. Do not have no legal basis , not onsharia law or mohammed.

wizzy wizard
wiz wi8 years ago

all means of killing must end

Sioux D.
Animae C8 years ago

this MUST end.