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Execution; October 2005



Iranian Adultress Sentenced to Death by Stoning

October 15, 2005

TEHRAN -- An Iranian woman has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, local media reported on Saturday, although Tehran maintains it no longer executes women in this way. The woman, named only as Soghra, was found guilty of having an affair with her husband's friend, the Etemad daily reported. She was also given a separate 15-year jail sentence for helping her lover kill her husband.

Iran has met international criticism for handing out stoning sentences for adultery. The penalty involves victims being buried up to their midriffs and then pelted to death with stones that are not big enough to kill instantly.

Judiciary officials say no woman has been executed by stoning for several years and that stoning sentences are routinely changed to other forms of execution, such as hanging, or lighter sentences.

"The Islamic code obliges the judge to issue the stoning sentence in adultery cases, however the head of the judiciary may change the final sentence," a judiciary official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

"He might even use his jurisdiction to change execution to lashes," he said.