Iran abolishes "stoning by death" for those under 18

Posted on February 20, 2012

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Stoning to death has been abolished in Iran for people under the age of 18, Mehr news agency reported. The new law has been approved by the Guardian Council and Iranian parliament.

It will come into effect after being signed by the country’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Instead of stoning to death, the new law envisages an arrest for underage criminals.

This must sound as a relief for those underage bastards, who, if not for this new law, would have continued to suffer from such a barbaric form of punishment.

Human rights activists can be happy now – at least the kids are safe. Safe from stoning that is – you will still get arrested if you commit a crime, and government will punish you in some other way. Hopefully, less painful.

Not long ago adultery was punishable by being stoned to death, but in the new penal code, stoning has been replaced by hanging. According to the new code, capital punishment will not be applied to convicts under the age of 18 or those who have not reached “intellectual growth.”

The revised penal code has been approved by the Guardian Council, which is necessary to make the changes official.

Three years ago, Iranian judiciary officials issued a directive banning the execution of juvenile offenders, but mere directives do not carry enough weight to guarantee compliance in every case.

Human rights activists in Iran have continuously protested against the execution of minors and stoning. Minors convicted of murder were usually sentenced to death by petition of the victim’s family, and the sentence was suspended until the convict reached the age of 18.

The execution of minors is still carried out in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen. The United States banned the execution of minors only in 2005, and four juvenile offenders were executed there between 2000 and 2004.

Iran has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit the death penalty for minors.

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Posted in: iran society