Iran: “We Are Not Ashamed of ‎Stoning!”

ISNA / Meydaan
Secretary General of the Iranian Human Rights Committee declares stoning is neither torture nor an incongruous punishment.
"The secretary general of Iran’s Human Rights Committee, Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani declared: The West has had an extensive Propaganda campaign against Iran on Human rights issues; most of which are caused by political incentives.
On the writ of stoning, Dr. Larijani added: Stoning is neither torture nor an incongruous punishment. He said that practically, stoning is no longer fulfilled in Iran and as for the case in Takistan, he said that it was caused by the personal mistake of the judge.

Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani stated that the human rights committee of Judiciary is composed of people of the highest political and administrative level with the headship of Ayatollah Shahroodi and membership of foreign, information, home secretary, judiciary, and enlightenment ministers and also with the cooperation of the head of constabulary, penitentiary and judicial organs.

He added: 'I have the honor of being the secretary-general of this Human Rights committee which is a national authority on Human rights issues with specific obligations. Its constitution was the enactment of the National Security Council with the confirmation of Ayatollah Khameniee.'

The instrumental role of a national authority on Human right issues:

He apprised the committee of human rights as a great experience for the country. He said: during a meeting with the head commissar of Human Rights who has the highest position in the United Nations’ Human Right committee, while he appreciated the national authority in human right issues, he believed that this should be an example for other countries since it has an effective impression on Human Rights.

He added: The West has always had a negative view of Iran and other Islamic countries regarding the Human Rights matters and condemns our civil and legal systems. Now, with the constitution of this committee we are able to address the Human Rights issues from the Islamic point of view.

The West has had an Extensive Propaganda Campaign against Iran on Human rights

During these last 30 years Western countries have had a political campaign against Iran on matters such as the breach of Human Rights, terrorism, nuclear energy, and weapons of mass destruction.

West wishes to force its Liberal Democratic interpretations of legal issues on Iran

He said: we have signed some international commitments and documents on human rights but we do believe that the west can no longer force its liberal democratic interpretations on Iran while we have our independent and Islamic commentary on them which are in conflict with theirs. The sitting of the Non-Committed which was held in Tehran had great achievements. There it was decided that the documents and treaties would be interpreted according to nations’ cultural circumstances and specific conditions.

We have already presented over 2000 pages of response to United Nations

Dr. Larijani added: we have been complained of before by the West about Human Rights but unfortunately they could not present their case specifically and in detail. However, we can now collect and investigate all their claims in respective committees and can respond in a professional and legal manner. We have already presented over 2000 pages of response to United Nations.

West’s criticisms largely peruse political goals

Most of westerns’ criticisms are because of political reasons. With these criticisms, they want to put us under political pressure. So we should follow our professional procedures and that is exactly what we have done so far.

The limit between torture and punishment is imponderable

Dr. Larigani said: As West thinks of itself as a social and cerebral egocentric, it wants to make its liberal democratic thinking ambient while Islamic republic of Iran does not accept this matter. That is why they criticize some of our Islamic rules such as stoning and they believe it should be stopped.

Their reproofs are based on several considerations: they say stoning is not a punishment but a torture while we think the line between torture and punishment is imponderable. On the other hand they insist that the crime and the punishment are not in proportion with each other, and they do believe the punishment for adultery should not be that severe. In fact they don’t consider this atrocity as a crime at all and they wish to force this belief on us.

If we had execution as a punishment for adultery instead of stoning, they would again complain that the crime and the punishment are not in proportion with each other-but as you know in Islamic rules, stoning is in lower level than execution because in stoning the defendant has a chance to survive. Besides, we think that the discrimination of insolence of adultery is not on Westerners but on the social norms within our country.

Stoning is neither a torture nor a disproportionate punishment

He added: we accept that according to international treaties we had signed, we have no right to have torture or disproportionate punishment, but we believe stoning is neither of them. This is one ruling our judge will use in the cases of adultery and as long as it exists in our law books, it will be in our judges’ capacity to use them. Of course there are some ongoing religious discussions about stoning; for example, some say stoning is not sanctioned in the Holy Quran and some doubt that in the time of the prophet Muhammad stoning was carried out.

Our Islamic essays are not blind and they are discussable

He went on to say: We could see stoning In Jewish creeds too and that was a problem in their religion. Our Islamic essays are open to discussions on this matter.

Ayatollah Shahroodi insists strongly on the meticulous survey of the situations and exactness of the adultery proofs so that there would be no doubts or suspicions because the discrimination of adultery is such a delicate and responsive act.

Another question regarding the stoning is whether or not it would be replaceable with lighter or other punishments?

We practically don’t fulfill stoning in Iran any more because of its difficult and delicate orientation

He added: when a writ of stoning is held, Ayatollah Shahahrodi uses his special authority and more investigations and surveys are done to avoid any possible mistakes. This limitation leads this writ to appear as if it has stopped and in practice we don’t fulfill stoning in Iran any more because of the great care that should be taken to confirm the occurrence of this crime. But as long as stoning exists in our law, the judges are able to use it.

Dr. Larijani said about Takistan case which saw the stoning of a man, “Ayattolah Shahrodi’s orders were to halt the execution until further consideration. Unfortunately the writ of stoning was a mistake but not a violation on the judge’s part. Although I can not hide the judge’s mistake, he had the writ of the previous judge and upheld it. But in fact, it was the mistake of the judge himself.”

The Takistan case was a mistake on the judge’s part if not a violation

Dr. Larigani complained about the arbitrary act of the judge and said: Ayatollah Shahroodi asked for the stop of the writ for further surveys and proofs; so the act of the judge was improper.

In the case of Takistan, as we know the man and the woman were neighbors, they ran away to Takistan and even change their ID and married and had children. So this event shows their case was not one of being lewdness but one of melancholia and mental illness.

Some think we are embarrassed to execute stoning, but this is not the case

He said: I don’t really want to defend these two people’s atrocious act but their case was totally different from those who elope for their impulses for they had some mental disorders and were on suspicion of being mad so the judiciary system ordered the case to be put on a hold for further considerations. Some think that because the west urged us to stop stoning we were ashamed of fulfilling the writ but in fact it is not so because we act according to Quaran’s and our Islamic essays .and in this matter it was absolutely the arbitrary mistake of the judge and it was not the policy of our system because our system cares about these kinds of cases with specific consideration and carefulness.

And he said that the judge is now under investigation.

Original Source in Farsi:

Translated into English by: Niloofar Shahmohammadi

Edited by: Navid Vafaee

30 September 2007