Two new Amnesty events for February

Please see our Events section! News of two new campaigns coming up very shortly:

Unite 4 human rights in Iran

Unite for Human Rights in Iran - Feb 11th

1) Unite for Human Rights in Iran

February 11th is a day of significance in Iran. Amnesty is asking bloggers of the world to unite by posting something on that day to reflect the travesty of Human Rights abuse in Iran. Executions are happening and pending daily there. The Optimism Club will be posting a blog for Iranian justice on that day. Please see the links for more background and details of how you can get involved.

2) Amnesty USA hits the road this month with Witness to Innocence to educate the US public on death penalty issues. Feb 26th – March 7th. Are you resident in the USA? You can join in!

Remember, readers, we WILL see an end to the death penalty in the USA – perhaps within the next ten years – but it needs an active attitude. Don’t be afraid to challenge the points of view of those who claim to support it. There is no justification for capital punishment, anywhere in the world. Check out the Resources page on this website for some starting places to inform and equip yourself in these discussions.

Death by stoning: a 21st century guide

Hi! How’s your criminal justice system looking these days? Failing? Considering a new penal strategy? Well then, why not consider adding tried-and-tested “Death by Stoning”?

death by stoning

Convicts are often buried to their waist or neck

You’ll be in great company! Just look at all these countries who mete out stoning as acceptable punishment: Afghanistan; Nigeria; Somalia; and although there is little official information, reports have also been received of stoning sentences effected in Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In Iran, it is alleged that attempts are underway to write stoning out of the nation’s statutes, but hey – there are still at least 10 people in custody (9 women) awaiting their deaths, and this month in Iran, another two stoning sentences have been upheld by the District Court of Appeals.

Stoning is all the rage! Check out this report stating that 83% of Pakistanis believe stoning is an appropriate punishment for adultery; and consider Indonesia, where the Aceh province has as recently as September 2009 ratified their implementation of Sharia Law permitting a sentence of death by stoning.

You may be thinking ‘adultery’ is a bit of a narrow criterion for settling on when to inflict stoning. Want to use it more often to keep women in their place? NO PROBLEM! Use stoning to silence women who claim to have been raped, or who have been forced into prostitution! In addition, when we say ‘adultery’, this is not just limited to sex WHILE married, oh no! Women who are not yet married and fall in love with a boy of the wrong religious group, or who have BEEN married and are now divorced can also be taught a lesson they will never forget!

adulterer in stoning pit

Somalian stoning pit - man is buried to chest

Interested? Here’s how to carry out an effective stoning. The best thing about a stoning is that it is a deliberately cruel form of execution that the whole community can participate in. The family, including the children of the person-to-be-stoned, are brought along to witness their shame. Optionally, prepare a hole or pit for your criminal to stand in and then back-fill the hole so that they are held in place up to their waist, chest or (for women) the neck. Alternatively, tie your wrongdoer to a post or tree. Ensure your execution squad (local members of the community, or members of rival gangs will suffice) are equipped with stones the size of a man’s fist for maximum effectiveness. Remember, the point of stoning is for when shooting is too good for the condemned person, they need to be made to suffer first.

Article 104 of the Law of Hodoud provides that the stones should not be so large that a person dies after being hit with two of them, nor so small as to be defined as pebbles, but must cause severe injury. This makes it clear that the purpose of stoning is to inflict grievous pain on the victim, in a process leading to his or her slow death. (Source: Stoning to Death in Iran: A Crime Against Humanity Carried Out By the Mullahs’ Regime)

You may have been confused by rumours of a clause in Sharia Law allowing your captives to be ‘let off the hook’ should they manage to escape their stoning pits alive. We can’t deny this has happened, however rest assured that the execution mob will rarely allow the evildoer to get away, and will most likely pursue the escapee and return them to the place of execution in order to finish the job. Here are a few examples from Iran from the same case study as above:

On August 10, 1994, in the city of Arak, a woman was sentenced to death by stoning. According to the ruling of the religious judge, her husband and two children were forced to attend the execution. The woman urged her husband to take the children away, but to no avail. A truck full of stones was brought in to be used during the stoning. In the middle of the stoning, although her eyes had been gouged out, the victim was able to escape from the ditch and started running away, but the regime’s guards recaptured her and shot her to death.

In October 1989 in the city of Qom, a woman who was being stoned managed to pull herself out of the hole, only to be forced back into it and stoned to death.

If you require further guidance, there’s video footage on the internet too – all you need to do is enter the words ‘death by stoning’ in the search engine of your choice.

Warning: some subversive organisations worldwide are trying to spoil these nations’ right to inflict fear, oppression, pain, torture, cruelty and death by raising awareness of and campaigning AGAINST stoning. Here are a few to watch out for:

Amnesty International

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women

Apostates of Islam

Additional note: I composed this blog post as a reminder that ALL capital punishment in the world today is vile and barbarian. When we consider the death penalty, we usually think immediately of the travesty of the USA’s death rows. Capital punishment is unacceptable whatever form it takes and wherever it occurs, and dehumanises those who sanction or champion its use.