The Sharia is a moral code of a religion and it’s been largely identified with Islam. It is considered the law of God and it is being implemented in many Islamic countries. The United Nations’ universal declaration of human rights says that every human being has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which includes the freedom to change one’s religion), but the Sharia does not recognize this human right. Also, homosexual sex is illegal under this law and violence against women is encouraged! Today we’re going to take a look at 10 countries that still practice stoning. Some of them are non-democratic countries.
Saudi Arabia practices the death penalty through stoning and beheadings. Other physical punishments include amputation and lashing. These punishments are not given by some village gathering, they are legal sentences. They’re imposed for murder, rape, drug use, adultery, witchcraft and armed robbery. Homosexual acts are also punishable by death.
The Sharia legal system was introduced in Nigeria in the year 2000 and ever since more than a dozen people have been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality. Fortunately, none of the sentences have been carried out, thanks to human rights groups or appeals that transformed the sentences into prison time.
Du’a Khalil Aswad was stoned to death in Iraq in 2007. The incident had remained a secret until a video of her stoning recorded with a mobile phone had leaked online. The 17 year old girl is thought to have been murdered as a form of honor killing for converting to Islam to marry an Iraqi Sunni boy or to have not come home one night.
Stonings in Pakistan are not often, but they do happen, unfortunately. In the spring of 2013, a Pakistani soldier Anwar Din was publicly stoned for having an affair with a young girl. Also, in the summer of 2013 Arifa Bibi, a young mother, was stoned to death for having a cell phone. The sentence was executed by the members of her family. Her two children were present.
A young couple who had sex outside marriage was stoned to death in northern Mali. They were put into two holes in the ground up to their waists and they were hit with stones until they died. The Sharia law is very strict with adulterers and punishes infidelity by death. This is the first Sharia murder since the Al-Qaeda Islamists took control of the northern part of Mali.
One of the few countries that still practice stoning is the oil-rich Brunei. At the end of 2013 the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, gave the world the news that he would introduce stoning, flogging and amputations to the country’s laws so that the country’s legal system of punishments would be in accordance with Sharia Law.
Amnesty International lobbied for the release of Layla Ibrahim Issa Jumul (23) who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Thanks to international pressure the court dropped her sentence and changed it to egregious acts. She was released soon after her new sentence was given. Unfortunately, not all cases of stoning are brought to the attention of the media.
Once the Taliban government took over in Afghanistan, stoning became the official punishment for many crimes. The US managed to end stoning through an official court ruling, but it still happens unofficially. In 2011 a group of armed men stoned and shot a woman and her daughter. They were accused of moral deviation and adultery.
One of the most shocking cases of stoning is that of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow. It was initially reported that the girl was 23 years old, but it was later revealed that she was only 13. She was convicted to death by stoning after trying to report that she had been gang-raped by three men. She was stoned to death on a football stadium in front of more than 1000 people. Some people tried to intervene but they were stopped by the gunmen and an 8 year old boy was killed.
Iran has, by far, the highest rate of execution by stoning in the entire world. Iran carried stoning in secret in prison and in the desert. The case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani caused international outcry in 2010 which lead the withdrawal of stoning from the penal code, but it was since reintroduced. Iran has again excluded stoning from the penal code in 2013, which does almost nothing to stop the stonings.
Do you know of other countries that still practice stoning? What are your thoughts on stoning and the capital punishment?