Stoning is not simply a relic of the past. In fifteen countries around the world, this brutal punishment and form of torture continues to exist in the here and now.
In 2008, a 16 year old from Iraqi Kurdistan named Aziz eloped with a man against her parents’ wishes. Fearful of her life, she sought help from the Department to End Domestic Violence. Yet the Department turned her over to her father, and her family subsequently stoned her to death.
In July 2012, Najiba, 21 was stoned and shot dead in Afghanistan in front of a hundred and fifteen men of the community, cheering the stoning. This horrific incident was filmed by a community member present. Najiba had been accused of moral crimes by local warlords and commanders.
In Sudan, Intisar Sharif Abdallah and Layla Ibrahim Issa were sentenced to death by stoning in 2012, accused of adultery. Following growing Sudanese and international public pressure, they were released on appeal.
And in March 2013, the head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Tunisia, called for a 19 year old Tunisian named Amina to be stoned to death for posting nude protest images online.
These are but a few recent cases of women being terrorized by this heinous practice.
Stoning is a cruel form of torture that causes grievous pain before death. It is a profound violation of fundamental human rights. The practice of stoning disproportionately targets and polices women and their conduct, and it often further entails a number of civil and political rights violations that follow on from unfair judicial processes and conditions of detention. Women are more likely to be sentenced to stoning when misogynist interpretations of religious laws and cultural mores form the basis of laws governing sexual relationships and the family.
Let’s stand together and say NO to stoning. Women’s rights cannot be sacrificed to these interpretations. Women have the right to freely participate in and adhere to their own beliefs but today they continue to be silenced by acts of violence.
Stand up against violence against women. Cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment cannot be tolerated, and the universality of human rights must not be held hostage in the name of ‘culture’ or tradition.
We call on States where stoning still exists in law and in practice to be held accountable to their international human rights obligations by banning stoning in law and in practice and to bring perpetrators to justice.
We strongly urge the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to heed this urgent call by openly denouncing the practice of executions by stoning as one of the most brutal forms of violence against women and as a form of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
This petition is supported by the following organizations:
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML); Women’s UN Report Program & Network (WURN); Women’s Intercultural Network; Justice for Iran; Research Institute on Women, Peace and Security; Foundation of Solidarity for Justice; Baobab for Women’s Human Rights; Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre; Solidaritas Perempuan; Groupe de Recherche sur les Femmes et Les Lois Senegal (GREFELS); Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre; and the Institute for Women’s Empowerment (IWE).
Please join the campaign against stoning – give us your support and urge the UN to take action on stoning by signing.