Steneging, stoning


Within shari'a law, there is a specific set of offenses known as the Hadd offences. These are crimes punished by specific penalties, such as stoning, lashes or the severing of a hand. The penalties for Hadd offences are not universally adopted as law in Islamic countries."[2]

As with many religions today, not all holy books reference a particular topic. Islamic scholars argue both sides of stoning within Islam, but regardless, many cases of stoning continue to this day. However, unlike Judaism where for capital punishment to take place two reputable witnesses must witness the Hadd offense including stoning Hadd, in Islam stoning (which is the penalty for committing adultery under marriage wedlock only)[citation needed] is the only capital punishment which requires four extremely well reputed eye-witness "accusers" to admit that they saw the defenders sexually interact.

It is also important to note that in Islam a person who confesses to adultery can be his own witness, yet according to shari`a law he must oath on himself four times[citation needed] before he can be punished with the appropriate punishment, which is stoning if the person is married or 100 lashes if the person is not married. Husbands can also launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth; And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie;But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie; And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth; Verse 24.006 - 24.009. The last possible way for stoning as penalty for adultery under wedlock is that a woman concealing under marriage wedlock[citation needed], considering that DNA is not accepted as an evidence in shar'ia law.[3]

[edit] Usage today

Among the world's countries with Muslim majorities, very few (the unofficial shari`a court which runs in parallel with judicial court) exercise this form of punishment; when they do, they often face criticism.[citation needed]

[edit] Pakistan

Islamic law in Pakistan still allows stoning as a form of punishment, however, no such executions have taken place in the country in recent times.[4]

[edit] Afghanistan

As most areas of Afghanistan, aside from the capital, Kabul, are controlled locally by warlords or tribal leaders, the Afghan legal system depends highly on an individual community's local culture and the political and/or religious ideology of its leaders. Stoning also occurs in lawless areas, where vigilantes decide to commit the act for religious and/or political purposes.[5]

[edit] Iran

In Iran, stoning as a punishment did not exist until 1983, when the contemporary Islamic Penal Code was ratified. Many Muslim jurists in Iran are of the opinion that while stoning can be considered Islamic, the conditions under which it can be sentenced are nearly impossible to occur. Because of the large burden of proof needed to reach a guilty sentence of adultery, its penalty is hardly ever applicable. Furthermore, while legally on the books, because of the enormity of both domestic and international controversy and outcry over stoning in the early years of the Islamic republic, the government placed official moratoriums on the punishment and, as a result, it was rarely practiced. Nevertheless, much of the public was outraged that such a backward and tortuous ritual became instituted in the laws of their country. In 2002 Iran's judiciary indicated that stoning will no longer be practiced in Iran.[6] However, it continued. In 2008, Iran's judiciary once again said it planned to stop stoning as a form of punishment; however, it will still be a legal form of punishment. [7] [8]

In August 2008 the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! announced that there were still at least eight women and one man sentenced to die by stoning for convictions of prostitution, incest and adultery.[8] Two were granted amnesty, two received reduced sentences of imprisonment and/or lashes and five cases are under review.[8] The spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, Alireza Jamshidi, said in a statement, "Donít forget. One cannot remove the punishment of stoning from the law."[8] The case of Kobra Najjar, a 44 year old woman who was convicted of adultery, but who some say was forced into prostitution by her husband, has received international attention.[9] She has reportedly exhausted all legal recourse for her conviction, with a sentence of death by stoning.[9]

[edit] Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates

Sentences to stoning or stonings without a sentence were also reported within the last years from Sudan, Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[10]

[edit] Somalia

In October, 2008, a girl, Aisho Ibrahim Dhuhulow was buried up to her neck at a football stadium, then stoned to death in front of more than 1,000 people. The stoning occurred after she had allegedly pleaded guilty to adultery in a shari`ah court in Kismayo, a city controlled by Islamist insurgents. According to the insurgents she had stated that she wanted shari`ah law to apply.[11] However, other sources state that the victim had been crying, that she begged for mercy and had to be forced into the hole before being buried up to her neck in the ground.[12] Amnesty International later learned that the girl was in fact 13 years old (i.e. a child) and had been arrested by the al-Shabab militia after she had reported being gang-raped by three men.[13]

[edit] Nigeria

Stoning is available as a punishment under Sharia in Nigeria. The most famous case is that of Amina Lawal, who was sentenced to death for having sex out-of-wedlock, as she is not married and found herself pregnant.[14]

The death sentences through stoning of the years 2000 and 2001 in Northern Nigeria sparked international discussion on Shari`aís imposition of stoning. Between 2000 and 2001 twelve northern Nigerian states officially declared Shari`a to be their criminal code again, even though many of its regulations conflict with the Nigerian constitution. The introduction of Shari`a law directly and indirectly led to many violent riots.[10]