Stoning is a human rights issue.

A spokesperson for the Iranian regime has stated that stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani "should not become a human rights issue". Many in the west however see it as barbaric and being discriminatory against women. Is stoning a case of a culture clash where stoning is acceptable in some areas of the Islamic world and as part of culture outsiders should not interfere? Or is the Iranian regime by claiming it is not a human rights issue simply equivalent to any other executions for the worst crimes simply an attempt to deflect criticism.

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

It can't be isolated from human rights.

Any issue that concerns those involved in human rights is a 'human rights issue'. To say it ought to be banned is different from saying it needs to be monitored by human rights organisations. We monitor prison conditions, health service and education quality, everything that is to do with people's fundamental needs to stay alive. If people are being condemned to death, it can by definition never be isolated from human rights concerns.

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

Stoning trials aren't fair trials.

'Article 14, paragraph 1 of the ICCPR states that “All persons shall be equal before courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit of law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law.” Paragraph 2 of the same Article states that “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

Stoning breaches both of these rights, due to the fact that it results in nearly all cases from an unfair trial and biased Judiciary. For example, in Iran, individual judges are allowed to cast a stoning sentence without checks from other ranches of government or the burden of proof. Most stoning sentences are issued not on the basis of testimony or confession but on the judges “knowledge” or “intuition.” Article 105 of the Islamic Penal code of Iran allows a judge to rule according to his gut feeling instead of hard evidence. As a result, most of not all adultery cases are unfairly tried. '[[http://www.stop-stoning.org/node/10]]

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

Stoning contributes to discrimination on grounds of sexuality.

Articles 2 and 3 of the UHDR guarantee 'the right to life, liberty, and security of person without distinction of any kind, including sex'. Stoning is most commonly a punishment for (alleged) sexual activity outside marriage. It is part of a criminal justice system where the punishment for homosexuality is hanging and that for 'fornication' is lashing.

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

Adultery should not be punished where marriages are non-consensual and underage.

Such a severe punishment for adultery is just one part of a system designed to keep women inside marriages arranged without their consent, often where the women are underage, and where they have no rights to divorce, an 'obligation' to sexual activity not shared by the husband (who has the right to sexual activity with other women).

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

Biased against women.

Not only are there no female judges, a woman's testimony is considered only half as valid as a man's and the negative social stigma around female sexuality causes the jury to be emotionally biased against the woman, in a system where 'gut instinct' (which can be manipulated by emotion) is the deciding factor in the case. Out of the twelve stoning sentences that are currently being reviewed by the State Higher Court, ten cases pertain to women.[[http://meydaan.net/English/showarticle.aspx?arid=118&cid=460]]

The actual practise of stoning is designed to be biased against women as well - 'In some cases, during a stoning, if a victim can escape from the ditch, they will be freed. The fact that a man is buried only to his waist, and a woman all the way up to her shoulders, means that women have a smaller chance of escape then men.'[[http://meydaan.net/English/showarticle.aspx?arid=118&cid=460]]

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

Execution should only be a punishment for serious crimes.

'Article 6 of the ICCPR states that “in countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes”, of which adultery is not one. '[[http://www.stop-stoning.org/node/10]]

Why should adultery not be a serious crime? What is serious and what is not varies from culture to culture. Yes there are some basics like murder but there is no reason why another culture should not consider adultery to be as bad as murder. Simply because in the west we do not consider adultery to be serious enough to merit excecution should not blind us to others values. It being enshrined in the ICCPR simply shows the dominance of western values during the 20th century.

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

arguments do not show that stoning itself is wrong

The main arguments that propose that stoning is a human rights issue are to do with unfair trials, bias against women, sexuality discrimination etc. This implies that if stoning was used as a punishment for crimes covered by the UDHR as serious enough to warrant the death penalty, if the sentence was carried after strong evidence and regardless of gender or sexuality, it would be justified.

Stoning is a human rights issue.

Yes because... No because...

stoning is rarely used

How rarely a punishment is used does not make any difference to whether it should be a human rights issue. If a million stonings were a human rights issue why would six not be? Are those six less entitled to human rights than a million? of course not. That so few stonings have been carried out simply shows that it should be easy to phase out entirely.

Stoning was only carried out in Iran six times since 2006.[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10579121]] It is supposed to be the harshest sentence for a crime that is considered to be one of the most seriously damaging to society, not everyday practise that is arbitrarily carried out.

Debates > Stoning is a human rights issue.