Hussein Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Musawa Khomeini, called for the annulment of stoning. From his house in Qom, Khomieni told Al Arabiya that according to moderate scholars, the person who has the authority to impose such penalties should be someone as ‘inerrant’ as the Prophet, and this does not apply to anyone nowadays.
In this opinion/fatwa, Ayatollah Montazeri uses the terminology of shariah criminal law to reject the possibility of the application of the stoning sentences in contemporary societies of Muslim majority countries such as Iran. [in Persian]
For an informative English article on Montazeri’s influence, see here.
This is one of the most pivotal studies on violence against women in Iran, a subject for which there are few researches and statistics. A Study of Violence Against Women in Iran includes six chapters, beginning in chapter one with the question: “Why is challenging violence against women an urgent matter?” Chapter 2 addresses the various domains where violence against women is perpetrated (public and private). In Chapter 3, Kar addresses the roots of violence against women, touching upon the legal system, the cultural make up of Iranian society, and the courts.
Kar, who has worked extensively as an anti-stoning activist, details the history of women’s struggles to remove stoning from the law. She explains that even though laws cannot be incongruent with religious doctrine, shortly after the revolution many religious scholars began to write opinions on the basis of “Ijtihad” (a practice of religious jurisprudence referring to independent reasoning) to attempt to convince the anti-reform power centers, that it is possible to reform Islamic law without inflicting any harm to religious doctrine.
The secretary general of Iran’s HumanRights Committee, Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani, stated that the “West” had had an extensive propaganda campaign against Iran on human rights issues, most of which are caused by political incentives. With regards to stoning, he adds that “stoning is neither torture nor an incongruous punishment.” He stated that practically, stoning is no longer fulfilled in Iran and that the recent case in Takistan (in 2007) was caused by a personal mistake of the judge.
Notable in this article is the mention of President Mohhamad Khatami pushing for a change in the execution law banning stoning in 2003. Also, the eleven women members of parliament submitted a bill in early December 2002 to the 290-seat majlis to abolish the practice of death by stoning to punish adultery. This was widely interpreted as a result of pressure by the European Union.
FIDH’s report documents and denounces the use of death penalty in Iran as part of a state policy of general repression aimed at creating a climate of terror among the population. The report was partially financed by the European Union.
The Fact Finding Commission on Stoning in Iran is a non-governmental commission formed in 2006 to investigate reported stoning cases. After its investigation, the Commission issues a statement addressed to Ayatollah Shahroudi, the Head of the Judiciary, on 20 June 2007, putting forth some fundamental questions about the role of the Iranian judiciary with regards to stoning. The Commissions demanded an official abolishment of stoning.