BBC Home > BBC News > Middle East

Iran executes two men by stoning

13 January 09 12:29 GMT

Two men convicted of adultery have been stoned to death in Iran, a rare punishment that the Iranian judiciary says it is trying to have scrapped.

The stoning took place in Mashhad in December, said judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi confirming press reports.

In stonings, men are buried to the waist and stones are hurled until they die. Women are buried to the shoulders.

A third man, an Afghan national, managed to dig himself out of the hole, and therefore escaped execution.

In 2002, Iran's judiciary chief issued a directive imposing a moratorium on execution by stoning and it has been scrapped in the new draft penal code which has yet to be passed into law.

Several stoning sentences are said to have been suspended or commuted, and the last reported execution by stoning was in July 2007.

International and local human rights groups have long campaigned for a ban on stoning in Iran as a "grotesque" punishment which is designed increase the suffering of the condemned.

Related BBC sites

*