Thursday, January 02, 2003


It is so nice when people try to please one another....

Iran ends execution by stoning to please EU

Iran has abolished stoning as a form of capital punishment, in an apparent bid to ease European Union human rights concerns before the possible signing of a breakthrough trade agreement.

The daily newspaper Bahar quoted Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, the former intelligence minister who heads the Supreme Administrative Court as saying: "The practice has been stopped for a while."

Under Iran's strict Islamic law, in place since the 1979 revolution, men and women convicted of adultery are usually sentenced to death by stoning.

The condemned are buried in a pit - men up to their waists, women their armpits - and pelted with stones.

According to the law, the stones must be big enough to injure but not kill with just a few blows. If the victims manage to dig themselves out, they are acquitted.

Officials refuse to say how often stonings are carried out, but at least two women were reported to have been stoned to death last year.

While stonings are rare, execution by hanging is common for murder, rape, drug smuggling and armed robbery.