The struggle continues »« Stoning must end now

It has to stop

I have just been informed that a Dutch MP of the Socialist Party, Harry van Bommel, has successfully submitted a resolution in the Dutch parliament calling for the Dutch government to instigate an initiative during the 67th UN General Assembly with the goal of an international condemnation and prohibition of stoning.  The resolution has been accepted.

Clearly, we need other parliaments doing the same as we need to end stoning now.

The lives of tens of women and men depend on it.

In Iran, at least 22 people await death by stoning sentences.

In Sudan, Intisar Sharief Abdala was sentenced to death by stoning.  The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies says of her case:

On 22 April 2012, judge Sami Ibrahim Shabo sentenced Intisar Sharief Abdala to death by stoning and ordered the case file to be sent to the high court for the confirmation of the sentence subsequent to a lapse of appeal period. The case was initially put before the court alongside two others accused: Lutfi Abu-Alros Jaeo and Alrisala Khamis.

The court acquitted the second accused for insufficient evidence against him; the third accused recently killed in a car accident. All three were illiterate and stated in the police and trial record that they don’t know to write or read.

Intisar is believed to be 20 years old, although some reports state that she is a minor. [Human Rights Watch says she is under 18, is imprisoned with her 5 month old baby and her feet shackled.]

According to Intisar’s lawyer and others human rights organisations that have interviewed her in the prison, she reportedly does not know what stoning is comprised of. She stated that she understood stoning as people throwing stones at her and afterwards she will be free. She also thought this is the best way to seek a divorce from her husband who she said she tried to divorce in the past but failed.

Intisar was subjected to different kind of pressures and circumstances failed her to understand the whole legal proceeding she is confronted with as she was also assaulted by her brother in connection to the case and he coerced her to confess. It is clear that the poverty, her illiteracy and her close family have all played a part in her sentencing. Her sister who instigated the case against her said she was aimed at putting an end to her behaviour of breaking the family rules and believed that her sentence would be 100 lashes. Later when she knew the decision and the meaning of stoning she lodged an appeal against the decision claiming that her sister is innocent.

No legal consultation was provided to the accused. The court did not inform her of the nature of the accusation and the value of her confession as evidence in her conviction.

Arabic is not Intisar’s first language and she was not provided with interpretation throughout the police and court proceedings. Owing to these factors it’s likely that Intisar doesn’t understand the prosecution proceedings and the nature of accusations she is facing.

Intisar’s case like that of so many others is not just a condemnation of the brutal punishment of stoning which is part of Sharia’s criminal law, but of women’s abysmal status in society at large and her position in the family, which is institutionalised by Sharia’s family code – seen of course as ‘religious freedom’ here in Britain…

Sign petitions against Intisar’s sentence. Do it today! Here are some petitions:

The Petition

IPetition

Go Petition

Care2

Force Change

Join the campaign on Facebook.

(Sudan information via Nahla Mahmoud)

Comments

  1. throwaway, these are not the bullies you're looking for says

    She stated that she understood stoning as people throwing stones at her and afterwards she will be free

    Tragic.

    Signing petitions and writing Senators and Congresspersons, anything else?

    • says

      We’re going to see if we can meet the MP who got the anti-stoning resolution passed in the Dutch parliament to help us get similar resolutions in other parliaments so that we can keep the pressure on. There is such a lot of anti-stoning sentiment that we can now push harder to get rid of the practice once and for all. So anything you can do to put pressure on other MPs to initiate such a move would be brilliant. Also writing to the Sudanese embassy or Iranian embassy in your country of residence. Thanks

  2. F says

    I’m hoping this is a bit wiser than “end stoning”. By this I mean that other cruel and unreasonable punishments for unreasonable “crimes” should be addressed. It is some small difference that one should be beheaded rather than stoned. It is the accusations of “crimes” (somehow worthy of stoning or whipping or hanging), the mere existence of criminal statutes (or religious laws) regarding these, and the “law enforcement and justice” process which leads to such sentences which is horribly wrong. Stoning is one symptom, an horrific one.

    So I hope this is a foot in the door to a greater international recognition and condemnation. And wider still, how women are treated in society, and bad “justice” in general.

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