Iran: Kobra Najjar Faces Imminent Execution by Stoning for Prostitution

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Date: 
1 Jul 2008

 

STOP PRESS, 7 AUGUST 2008: It has been reported recently that the Iranian authorities have decided to halt the execution of stoning sentences pending a review of cases. Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi is said to have stated that four people currently sentenced to stoning will have their sentences commuted: two will have their sentences changed to 10 years imprisonment while two others will be lashed following judicial review. The identities of the four people have not been revealed.

When contacting the Iranian authorities, do acknowledge this development but please continue to write and urge them to release Kobra Najjar, commute all stoning sentences and remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery. Stoning still remains a part of Iran’s Penal Code.

Kobra NajjarEquality Now is urgently concerned about Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery who lost her final appeal for amnesty. Iranian women’s rights activists working on her case report that Kobra has exhausted all domestic legal remedies and that her execution by stoning could happen any time.

Kobra is a victim of domestic violence who was forced into prostitution by her abusive husband in order to support his heroine addiction. He was murdered by one of Kobra’s “clients” who sympathized with her plight. Kobra has already served 8 years in prison as an accessory to her husband’s murder. The man who murdered her husband also served 8 years in prison and is now free after paying blood money and undergoing 100 lashes, while Kobra faces imminent stoning to death for adultery - the prostitution her husband forced upon her.

Equality Now is also concerned about recent reports of seven other women and one man, all accused of adultery sentenced to death by stoning, whose executions are also reported to be possible at any time. In Iran, adultery is the only crime punishable by stoning.

Stoning violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party. The ICCPR clearly prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. It also limits the imposition of the death penalty “only for the most serious crimes.” No criminal or other act warrants violent and inhumane punishments such as flogging and stoning. Moreover, adultery is a private act and should not incur criminal punishment. Protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference under the ICCPR has been found by the United Nations Human Rights Committee to include consensual sexual activity between adults in private.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Iranian officials below, calling for Kobra’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law. 

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Ministry of Justice          
Park-e Shahr
Teheran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: iripr@iranjudiciary.org, irjpr@iranjudiciary.com and info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005

Note: The contact information above may encounter delivery problems so please keep trying to send your message. Thank you for taking action!

Please also contact the Iranian embassy in your country. The following link may help you find the contact information: http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/Iran/Iran.html

Bahrain: Embassy of Iran in Manama
Tel: 722400, 722660
Fax: 722101

Canada: Embassy of Iran in Ottawa http://www.salamiran.org/
Tel: 613 2354726 Ext 225
Fax: 613 2325712

Denmark: Embassy of Iran in Copenhagen http://www.iran-embassy.dk
Tel: 39160071
Fax: 39160075

Finland: Embassy of Iran in Helsinki
Tel: (9) 6869240
Fax: (9) 6869241

Germany: Embassy of Iran in Frankfurt
Tel: (0) 695600070, (0) 695600730
Fax: (0) 6956000728

India: Embassy of Iran in New Delhi
Tel: (011) 3329600, (011) 3329601, (011) 3329602, (011) 3320491
Fax: (011) 3325493

Jordan: Embassy of Iran in Amman
Tel: (6) 4641281, (6) 4641282
Fax: (6) 4641383

Kenya: Embassy of Iran in Nairobi
Tel: (2) 720343, (2) 720796
Fax: (2) 713966

Lebanon: Embassy of Iran in Beirut
Tel: (1) 821224

Malaysia: Embassy of Iran in Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (3) 4514830, (3) 4514824
Fax: (3) 4562904

Norway: Embassy of Iran in Oslo http://home.eunet.no/%7Eiranamb/
Tel: 23 27 29 60
Fax: 22 55 49 19

Russia: Embassy of Iran in Moscow
Tel: (95) 9177282, (95) 9170039, (95) 9178440
Fax: (95) 2302897

Sweden: Embassy of Iran in Stockholm
Tel: (80) 7650829, (80) 7653174
Fax: (80) 7653119

Switzerland: Embassy of Iran in Berne
Tel: (31) 3510801, (31) 3510802
Fax: (31) 3515652

United Arab Emirates: Embassy of Iran in Abu Dhabi http://www.iranembassy.org.ae
Tel: (12) 4447618
Fax: (12) 4448714

United Kingdom: Embassy of Iran in London http://www.iran-embassy.org.uk/
Tel: 02072253000
Fax: 02075894440

United States: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, D.C. http://www.daftar.org/
Tel: 202 9654990
Fax: 202 9651073