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Iran: Stonings Should Stop

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

11 July 2001

Amnesty International voiced its outrage today at the reported stoning to death of an Iranian woman at Evin prison in Tehran.

"Executions by stoning aggravate the brutality of the death penalty, which in itself is the most extreme form of torture and the ultimate violation of the right to life. It is a method specifically designed to increase the victim's suffering," the organization said.

Despite Amnesty International's worldwide appeals for 30-year-old Maryam Ayoubi's death sentence to be commuted, she was executed this morning. The woman had recently been found guilty of adultery and of murdering her husband.

The stoning of Maryam Ayoubi increases concern that the authorities may carry out even more executions by stoning. A woman identified only as Robabeh was reported on 24 June to have been sentenced to 50 lashes to be followed by death by stoning for adultery. Her unnamed male accomplice had reportedly been sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging.

In renewing its urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities to commute these sentences, Amnesty International is adding its voice to those of officials, organizations and individuals in Iran who have already voiced their concern over this punishment.

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