Iran: Further Information on Imminent Execution (Stoning)
AI Index: MDE 13/006/2001
18 January 2001
Further information on EXTRA 05/01 (MDE 13/004/01, 16 January 2001) - Imminent
IRAN 11 men aged 20-30, names not known
Maryam Ayoubi (f), aged 31
Hossein Esna 'Ashari, 24
Ali Hassanzadeh, 25
Mostafa Nikbakht, 22
Mir Jalil Sayed Nazari, 22
Six of the 11 men mentioned above were executed on 17 January. They were hanged at dawn, according to press reports citing Iranian state radio.
A further three were apparently pardoned by the victims' families, while the executions of the remaining two men had been postponed.
Maryam Ayoubi had reportedly been facing 15 years' imprisonment followed by stoning to death (see EXTRA 05/01, MDE 13/004/2001, 16 January 2001). However, new reports indicate that she will simply be stoned to death.
Stoning to death is prescribed for certain offences under the Iranian Penal Code. According to the Penal Code, men should be buried in a pit in the ground up to their waists, and women buried up to their chests. Individuals who manage to dig themselves out and escape from the pit whilst the stoning is being carried out have their lives spared. Article 104 of the Penal Code states that ''...the stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them...'' so is designed to cause grievous pain leading to eventual death.
In the unlikely event that she manages to dig herself free before she is killed, Maryam Ayoubi will then start her 15-year sentence. It is not known when this sentence will be carried out.
Amnesty International has no new information on Hossein Esna 'Ashari, Ali Hassanzadeh, Mostafa Nikbakht or Mir Jalil Sayed Nazari
An article concerning this Urgent Action was published in the [English-language] Tehran Times newspaper on 18 January. It stated that ''The West intentionally wants to interfere in internal matters of Iran, leveling baseless charges.'' It also said that ''Such a move by Amnesty is nothing but open interference in Iran's internal affairs.''