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Iran: Further Developments Regarding Discontinuation of Punishment of Stoning to Death

(Aug. 6, 2009) The Islamic Republic of Iran is considering abolition of the punishment of stoning to death (rajm) from the Islamic Criminal Code of December 1991. The announcement by Ali Shahrokhi, Chairman of the Judiciary and Legal Committee of the Islamic House of Representatives, was reported on June 26, 2009. Shahrokhi said the bill would be presented for open debate in the House “shortly.” He added that in the new bill the crime of apostasy and punishment of cutting off a hand would also be deleted from the Criminal Code. Shahrokhi further explained that the reason for eliminating these crimes from the Criminal Code was “to protect the interests of the government.” (Stoning to Death May Be Discontinued as a Punishment [in Farsi], 34:15 IRAN TIMES INTERNATIONAL, June 26, 2009, at 2; see also G. Vafai,Man Sentenced to Be Stoned to Death for Adultery, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, June 22, 2009, available at