Grand Ayatollah Yousef Saanei, who is known for his moderate views and more women-friendly interpretations of Sharia, states that stoning and other physical punishments within the “Law of Retribution” (qisas) such as hand cutting can be declared as prohibited or forbidden (mamnoo’) during the absence of the “hidden Imam”. [Persian]
This is an interview with GholamHossein Raesi, an attorney and member of the Network of Volunteer Lawyers. He is the lawyer of Parisa A. who has been sentenced to be stoned and also an activist with the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign. The interview details Raesi’s argument that stoning sentences are being issues unlawfully, particularly with regards to the methods of proving guilt of adultery. Specifically, many clients are punished based on the judges ‘knowledge’, which lessons the burden of proof significantly.
Peters discussed hadd punishments under the Islamic Penal Code in Iran, including stoning. He argues that in light of the many restraints put by the shariah on the application of hadd punishments, it is doubtful whether the numerous convictions of stoning were all obtained in conformity with shariah, which stipulates that testimonies and confessions made under duress are not valid.
This is the website for the 2nd branch of the One Million Signatures Campaign to change gender discriminatory laws in Iran (this site hosted by Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani). There is a good selection of articles on violence against women here, which is regularly updated. The articles available in English are chosen very selectively; most of the relevant information appears in Persian only. Please check here for up-to-date information on the situation in Iran. [Persian]
This is the main website for one of the two Tehran branches of the One Million Signatures Campaign to change gender discriminatory laws in Iran (this site hosted by Parvin Ardalan). There is a good selection of articles on violence against women here, which is regularly updated. The articles available in English are chosen very selectively; most of the relevant information appears in Persian only. Please check here for up-to-date information on the situation in Iran. [Persian and English]
Maryam Majd, an Iranian photojournalist, has disappeared on her way from Tehran, Iran, to Dusseldorf in Germany, according to Petra Landers, a former national football player. In a letter to the German Foreign Office, Landers who met Maryam Majd earlier this year during a trip to Iran, explains what happened: "When I wanted to pick her up at 10:30 am on the 17th of June 2011 from Düsseldorf airport, I realized that she was not on the plane. (Mahan Airlines confirmed that Ms. Majd was not on board). By phone she was no longer reachable because the phone was switched off. Since that day nobody in Iran or in Germany has heard from Maryam Majd." This is Majd's blog (in Persian)
This is one of those cases where the authorities seem to be blaming the victim for the crime of the perpetrators. Almost 3 weeks ago, a private party in Khomeini Shahr, in Central Iran was attacked by gang members. The gang put all the men in a room, locked them in, and then raped the 12 female attendees in the party. The story quickly became a national scandal and now the authorities say they have set up a "special court" and a "police task force" to expedite the trial of 14 men who are arrested in relation to this heinous crime.
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.