Death by stoning 'grotesque'

2008-01-15 12:55

London - Human rights group Amnesty International has called on the authorities in Iran to end the "grotesque and unacceptable penalty" of death by stoning.

In a report released in London on Tuesday, Amnesty said that nine women and two men were currently waiting to be stoned to death in Iran.

It called on the authorities in Tehran to adhere to a 2002 moratorium on stoning and to outlaw the practice in planned amendments to the penal code.

Amnesty urged the authorities to ensure that the "new Penal Code neither permits stoning to death nor provides for execution by other means for adultery".

Amnesty said that in spite of this "gloomy reality" there were grounds for hope that death by stoning would be abolished in Iran in the future.

"Courageous efforts" were being made by local human rights defenders in Iran to that effect.

"We urge the Iranian authorities to heed our calls, and those of the Iranians who are striving relentlessly to obtain an end to this horrendous practice," Amnesty said. - Sapa-dpa