Stoning: Legal or Practised in 16 Countries and Showing No Signs of Abating

Publication Author: 
WLUML, Shadi Sadr, Isabel Marler
30th March 2014
WLUML Submission on the Question of the Death Penalty HRC 30 03 14.pdf865.39 KB

This brief report was created by WLUML as a submission to the UN Secretary General for the 27th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) on the question of the death penalty.

WLUML outline the latest developmentes in the practice of stoning around the world, with specific emphasis on stoning where it is practised as a death penalty (Iran and Somalia).  WLUML call for attention to stoning as a gendered human rights violation, and to the repressive and unstable legal and political contexts which form the background to stoning.  We ask the HRC to address stoning as part of its session on the death penalty, and to address all countries where stoning remains on the law books.


"Stoning can be seen as the violent pinnacle of a system of policing women’s freedoms in relation to concepts of sexual 'morality'. Women are the primary targets of these concepts, owing to patriarchal interpretations of religion, and misogynist culture more generally. Women are perceived to be the bearers of ‘honour’ and as such their commitment of zina is viewed as a more serious transgression than men's and is punished at higher rates. In Iran, for example, the gender nature of adultery and morality is written into the legal structures; the criminalization of zina has been overwhelmingly directed against Iranian women because Iranian men enjoy both a unilateral right to divorce and a right to marry two permanent wives in polygamous marriages and an unlimited number of temporary wives in Mut’a (temporary marriages)."

To read the full report, please download the pdf.