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IRAN AMENDS LAW ON STONING FOR ADULTERY

May 30, 2013: Iran has amended its internationally condemned law on stoning convicted adulterers to death to allow judges to impose a different form of execution, according to the revision seen by AFP.
The controversial practice, in which stones are thrown at the partially buried offender, has provoked outcries from human rights organisations, international bodies and Western countries urging Iran to abandon it.
An article of Iran's Islamic new penal code, published earlier this week, states that, "if the possibility of carrying out the (stoning) verdict does not exist," the sentencing judge may order another form of execution pending final approval by the judiciary chief.
The article does not explain what is meant by the possibility of stoning not existing.
In Iran, executions are normally carried out by hanging.
Under Iran's interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in force since its 1979 revolution, adultery is punished by the stoning of convicted adulterers.
Women are buried up to the their shoulders, but men only up to their waists. They are spared if they manage to free themselves before dying.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking are also punishable by death in Iran, which has one of the highest annual execution counts in the world, alongside China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
At least 150 people may have been stoned in Iran since 1980, the International Committees against Execution and Stoning said in 2010.
According to local media, MPs had removed stoning altogether from the bill that they adopted. But the hardline Guardians Council of clerics and jurists, which must approve all legislation before it enters into force, reinserted it, with the new amendment.
The United Nations has urged Iran to ditch stoning as a method of execution, with its experts saying last year that adultery does not constitute a serious crime by international standards.
World criticism reached a strident pitch in 2011 when reports said a married woman, Sakieneh Mohammadi Ashtiani, was about to be stoned over "illicit relationship" with two men.
Iran halted the stoning, but Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced in 2006, is serving a 10-year sentence on separate charges of complicity in the murder of her husband in a lovers' spat.
Her stoning could still be carried out.
In December 2011, a local judicial official said that judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani had decided "to wait to get the view of other religious scholars" before making a final decision.
The last reported case of stoning was in 2009, when an unidentified man was stoned to death in the northern city of Rasht.
That came despite a directive in 2002 by then judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi to suspend the practice. His call failed to force any changes to the penal code. (Sources: AFP, 30/05/2013)

INDONESIA EXECUTES THREE CONVICTED MURDERERS BY FIRING SQUAD
IRAN: 25 YEAR OLD FATHER OF TWO CHILDREN HANGED PUBLICLY
TEXAS ENACTS ‘MICHAEL MORTON ACT’ INTENDED TO REDUCE WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS
THE DEATH PENALTY IN NORTH KOREA: IN THE MACHINERY OF A TOTALITARIAN STATE
TEXAS (USA): JEFFREY DEMOND WILLIAMS EXECUTED
BRITISH MAKER OF DEATH PENALTY DRUGS ADDS NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR US BUYERS
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED IN AHVAZ AND KERMANSHAH
VIETNAM CHANGES LAW TO ALLOW DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED POISON IN LETHAL INJECTION
CHINA: WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ‘ILLEGAL’ FUNDRAISING
IRAN: TEN PEOPLE HANGED FOR MURDER, DRUG TRAFFICKING
SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTIONS TOLL HITS 40
NIGERIA: COURT SENTENCE 8 TO DEATH BY HANGING
SAUDI FAMILY URGES ROYAL APPROVAL OF MAID’S EXECUTION FOR MURDER
THAILAND: SHACKLES OFF ON BANG KWANG DEATH ROW
SAUDI EXECUTES LATEST, BRINGING TOTAL TO 39 THIS YEAR
BANGLADESH: ISLAMIST SENTENCED TO HANG FOR WAR GENOCIDE
IRAN: FOUR PEOPLE HANGED IN SEMNAN PROVINCE
IRAN: MURDERER PARDONED WHILE ON GALLOWS
GAZA: MILITARY COURT SENTENCES MAN TO DEATH
SUDAN: EAST DARFUR COURT SENTENCES ‘OMDA MURDERER’ TO HANG
KENYA: NANYUKI MAN TO HANG FOR VIOLENT CRIME
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
IRAN: 11 PRISONERS HANGED IN KARAJ
SAUDI ARABIA: NATIONAL BEHEADED FOR KILLING WOMAN AFTER RAPE BID
IRAN: THREE PEOPLE EXECUTED IN ISFAHAN
TEXAS (USA): CARROLL JOE PARR EXECUTED
IRAN: THREE PRISONERS HANGED PUBLICLY AT THE LIBERTY SQUARE OF KERMANSHAH
SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTES SYRIAN DRUG TRAFFICKER
ALGERIA: COURT SENTENCES TWO ISLAMISTS TO DEATH
INDIA: MAN GETS DEATH PENALTY FOR KILLING THREE SIBLINGS

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  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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