Stoning

Stoning

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Stoning, or lapidation, is a form of capital punishment
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 whereby a group throws stones at a person until the person dies. No individual among the group can be identified as the one who kills the subject, yet everyone involved plainly bears some degree of moral culpability. This is in contrast to the case of a judicial executioner
Executioner
A judicial executioner is a person who carries out a death sentence ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.-Scope and job:...

. Stoning is slower than other forms of execution, and hence is a form of execution by torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

.

In history


Stoning is an ancient form of capital punishment. There are historical reports of stoning from Ancient Greece — Herodotus reports the case of Lycidas
Lycidas
"Lycidas" is a poem by John Milton, written in 1637 as a pastoral elegy. It first appeared in a 1638 collection of elegies, entitled Justa Edouardo King Naufrago, dedicated to the memory of Edward King, a collegemate of Milton's at Cambridge who drowned when his ship sank in the Irish Sea off the...

 in his Histories, Book IX. Stoning is also mentioned in Ancient Greek mythology — Oedipus
Oedipus
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. He fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thus brought disaster on his city and family...

 asks to be stoned to death when he learns that he killed his father.

In Judaism



Torah


The Israelite Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

, which is the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 of the Christian Bible and as such serves as a common religious reference, prescribes death by stoning for the following:
  • Touching Mount Sinai
    Mount Sinai
    Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

     while God was giving Moses
    Moses
    Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

     the Ten Commandments
    Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

     (Exodus
    Exodus
    The Book of Exodus is the second book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the five books of the Torah...

     19:13)
  • An ox that gores someone to death should be stoned (Exodus 21:28)
  • Breaking the Shabbat
    Shabbat
    Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

     (Numbers
    Book of Numbers
    The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

     15:32-36)
  • Giving one's "seed" (presumably one's offspring) "to Molech
    Moloch
    Moloch — also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, or Moloc — is the name of an ancient Semitic god...

    " (Leviticus
    Leviticus
    The Book of Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the Torah ....

     20:2-5)
  • Having a "familiar spirit
    Familiar spirit
    In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits were supernatural entities believed to assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic...

    " (or being a necromancer) or being a "wizard" (Lev. 20:27)
  • Cursing God (Lev. 24:10-16)
  • Engaging in idolatry
    Idolatry
    Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

     (Deuteronomy
    Deuteronomy
    The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

     17:2-7) or seducing others to do so (Deut. 13:7-12)
  • "Rebellion" against parents (Deut. 21,21)
  • Getting married as though a virgin, when not a virgin (Deut. 22:13-21)
  • Sexual intercourse
    Sexual intercourse
    Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

     between a man and a woman engaged to another man (both should be stoned, Deut. 22:23-24)

Mishna


The Mishna gives the following list of persons who should be stoned (Sanhedrin Chapter 7, p. 53a http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Talmud/sanhedrin7.html, in Hebrew: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/b/l/l4407.htm. See other references in .)

"To the following sinners stoning applies – אלו הן הנסקלין
  • one who has had connection with his mother – הבא על האם
  • with his father's wife – ועל אשת האב
  • with his daughter-in-law – ועל הכלה
  • with a human male – ועל הזכור
  • or with cattle – ועל הבהמה
  • and the same is the case with a woman who uncovers herself before cattle – והאשה המביאה את הבהמה
  • with a blasphemer – והמגדף
  • an idolater – והעובד עבודת כוכבים
  • he who sacrifices one of his children to Moloch – והנותן מזרעו למולך
  • one that occupies himself with familiar spirits – ובעל אוב
  • a wizard – וידעוני
  • one who violates the Sabbath – והמחלל את השבת
  • one who curses his father or mother – והמקלל אביו ואמו
  • one who has assaulted a betrothed damsel – והבא על נערה המאורסה
  • a seducer who has seduced men to worship idols – והמסית
  • and the one who misleads a whole town – והמדיח
  • a witch (male or female) – והמכשף
  • a stubborn and rebellious son – ובן סורר ומורה"

In practice



There are only scarce mentions of such a punishment being actually legally inflicted. There are three cases in the Bible (see list below) in which a person was stoned to death as a punishment. But there are also five or six cases where someone was stoned by a mob, or not in a legal fashion. A detailed recorded case of stoning occurs in the Book of Joshua
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. Its 24 chapters tell of the entry of the Israelites into Canaan, their conquest and division of the land under the leadership of Joshua, and of serving God in the land....

 (7, 24) when a man named Achan
Achan (Bible)
Achan , also called Achar, is a figure mentioned by the Book of Joshua in connection with the fall of Jericho and conquest of Ai.According to the narrative of Joshua chapter 7, Achan pillaged an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver, and a costly garment, from Jericho; the text states "But all the...

 (עכן) was found to have kept loot from Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, a conquered Canaanite
Canaanite
Canaanite may refer to:*Canaan and Canaanite people, a historical/Biblical region and people in the area of the present-day Gaza Strip, Israel, West Bank, and Lebanon.*Canaanite languages*Canaanite religion...

 city, in his tent. Under the mores reflected in that book, massacring the Canaanites was an acceptable and indeed praiseworthy act, but disobedience to God's command by taking loot to oneself was an act heinous enough that not only Achan himself but also his entire family were stoned to death by the gathered Hebrews, as a punishment.

As God alone was deemed to be the only arbiter in the use of capital punishment, not fallible people, the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

 made stoning a hypothetical upper limit on the severity of punishment.
Prior to early Christianity, particularly in the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

, doubts were growing in Jewish society about the morality of capital punishment in general and stoning in particular. The Mishnah states:

A Sanhedrin that puts a man to death once in seven years is called destructive. Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariah says that this extends to a Sanhedrin that puts a man to death even once in seventy years. Rabbi Akiba and Rabbi Tarfon say: Had we been in the Sanhedrin none would ever have been put to death. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says: they would have multiplied shedders of blood in Israel.


In the following centuries the leading Jewish sages imposed so many restrictions on the implementation of capital punishment as to make it de facto illegal. The restrictions were to prevent execution of the innocent, and included many conditions for a testimony to be admissible that were difficult to fulfill.

Philosopher Moses Maimonides wrote, "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death." He was concerned that the law guard its public perception, to preserve its majesty and retain the people's respect. He saw errors of commission as much more threatening to the integrity of law than errors of omission.

Mode of Judgment


In rabbinic law, capital punishment may only be inflicted by the verdict of a regularly constituted court of three-and-twenty qualified members. There must be the most trustworthy and convincing testimony of at least two qualified eye-witnesses to the crime, who must also depose that the culprit had been forewarned of the criminality and the consequences of his project. The culprit must be a person of legal age and of sound mind, and the crime must be proved to have been committed of the culprit's free will and without the aid of others.

On the day the verdict is pronounced, the convict is led forth to execution. The Torah law (Leviticus 19,18) prescribes, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"; and the Rabbis maintain that this love must be extended beyond the limits of social intercourse in life, and applied even to the convicted criminal who, "though a sinner, is still thy brother" (Mak. 3,15; Sanh. 44a): "The spirit of love must be manifested by according him a decent death" (Sanh. 45a, 52a). Torah law provides (Deut. 24,16), "The parents shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the parents; every man shall be put to death for his own sins", and rabbinic jurisprudence follows this principle both to the letter and in spirit. A sentence is not attended by confiscation of the convict's goods; the person's possessions descend to their legal heirs.

The Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 limits the use of the death penalty to Jewish criminals who:
  • (A) while about to do the crime were warned not to commit the crime while in the presence of two witnesses (and only individuals who meet a strict list of standards are considered acceptable witnesses); and
  • (B) having been warned, committed the crime in front of the same two witnesses.


In theory, the Talmudic method of how stoning is to be carried out differs from mob stoning. According to the Jewish Oral Law
Oral law
An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or community application, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is orally transmitted....

, after the Jewish criminal has been determined as guilty before the Great Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

, the two valid witnesses and the sentenced criminal go to the edge of a two story building. From there the two witnesses are to push the criminal off the roof of a two story building. The two-story height is chosen as this height is estimated by the Talmud to effect a quick and painless demise but is not so high that the body will become dismembered. After the criminal has fallen, the two witnesses are to drop a large boulder onto the criminal – requiring both of the witnesses to lift the boulder together. If the criminal did not die from the fall or from the crushing of the large boulder, then any people in the surrounding area are to quickly cause him to die by stoning with whatever rocks they can find.

In Islam




Islamic Sharia Law is based on the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, the hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

, and the biography of Mohammed. Shia and Sunni hadith collections differ because scholars from the two traditions differ as to the reliability of the narrators and transmitters and the Imamah
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

. Shi'a sayings related to stoning can be found in Kitab al-Kafi
Kitab al-Kafi
The Kitāb al-Kāfī is a Twelver Shī‘ah hadīth collection compiled by Muhammad Ya‘qūb Kulaynī. It is divided into three sections: Usūl al-Kāfī, which is concerned with the principle of religion, Furū al-Kāfī, which is concerned with the details of religious law, and Rawdat al-Kāfī, which is...

, and Sunni sayings related to stoning can be found in the Sahih Bukhari
Sahih Bukhari
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī , as it is commonly referred to, is one of the six canonical hadith collections of Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Muslims view this as one of...

 and Sahih Muslim
Sahih Muslim
Sahih Muslim is one of the Six major collections of the hadith in Sunni Islam, oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It is the second most authentic hadith collection after Sahih Al-Bukhari, and is highly acclaimed by Sunni Muslims...

.

Based on these hadiths, in several Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, adultery is punishable by stoning.

The Qur'an forbids all sexual intercourse outside the marital bond as sinful, but makes no distinction between adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

 and fornication
Fornication
Fornication typically refers to consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. For many people, the term carries a moral or religious association, but the significance of sexual acts to which the term is applied varies between religions, societies and cultures. The...

 and in both cases the punishment is flogging 100 times for those found guilty. Stoning (rajm
Rajm
Rajm is an Arabic word that means "stoning". It is commonly used to refer to the Hudud punishment wherein an organized group throws stones at a convicted individual until that person dies. Traditionally it is called for in cases of adultery where the criteria for conviction are met...

) as a punishment for adultery is not mentioned in the Koran, so some modernist Muslim scholars like Quran alone Muslim Scholars take the view that stoning to death is not an Islamic law.

According to the Hanbali
Hanbali
The Hanbali school is one the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of dogma...

 jurist Ibn Qudamah
Ibn Qudamah
Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi was a noted Islamic scholar of the Hanbali madhhab, author of many treatises of Hanbali jurisprudence and doctrine, including al-Mughni as well as Tahrim an-Nazar Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (Arabic...

, "Muslim jurists are unanimous on the fact that stoning to death is a specified punishment for the married adulterer and adulteress. The punishment is recorded in number of traditions and the practice of Muhammad stands as an authentic source supporting it. This is the view held by all Companions, Successors and other Muslim scholars with the exception of Kharijites."

Because the word used in the Quran, 'zina', is exactly parallel to the Hebrew 'zanah', which strictly refers to fornication and not adultery (which is 'na'aph'), the Quran may not even be speaking of adultery at all. In that case, the point could be made that the command of the Torah on the punishment of adultery, namely, stoning to death, still stands. However, this is not the usual reason that Muslims support stoning for adultery, as most do not hold the Bible to be reliable, and instead derive from the hadiths.

In hadith (sayings)


Sahih Muslim, Book 17, Chapter 6: Stoning to Death of Jews and Other Dhimmis In Cases of Adultery, Number 4216: Jabir b.'Abdullah
Jabir ibn Abd-Allah
Jabir ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn Haram al-Ansari was a prominent companion of Muhammad and his descendants, the Shi'a Imams.-Early life:Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari was born in Yathrib 15 years before the Hijra. He belonged to a poor family of Yathrib. He was from the tribe of Khazraj. His mother...

 reported that Allah's Apostle stoned (to death) a person from Banu Aslam, and a Jew and his wife.


Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23: Funerals, Number 413: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar
`Abd Allah ibn `Umar
Abdullah ibn Umar was the son of the second Caliph Umar ibn Khattab. He was a prominent authority in hadith and law, and was known for his neutrality toward factions engaged in the first civil war within the Muslim community ....

: The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque."


Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 50: Conditions, Number 885: Narrated Abu Huraira
Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah , was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the narrator of Hadith most quoted in the isnad by Sunnis.-Early life:...

 and Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani: A bedouin came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's apostle! I ask you by Allah to judge My case according to Allah's Laws." His opponent, who was more learned than he, said, "Yes, judge between us according to Allah's Laws, and allow me to speak." Allah's Apostle said, "Speak." He (i .e. the bedouin or the other man) said, "My son was working as a laborer for this (man) and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife. The people told me that it was obligatory that my son should be stoned to death, so in lieu of that I ransomed my son by paying one hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the religious scholars about it, and they informed me that my son must be lashed one hundred lashes, and be exiled for one year, and the wife of this (man) must be stoned to death." Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah's Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to be returned to you, your son is to receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. You, Unais, go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses her guilt, stone her to death." Unais went to that woman next morning and she confessed. Allah's Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.

Usage today


As of September 2010, stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws in seven countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and some states in Nigeria. While stoning may not be codified in the laws of Afghanistan and Somalia, both countries have seen several incidents of stoning to death.

Afghanistan


Before the Taliban government, most areas of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, aside from the capital, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, were controlled locally by warlords or tribal leaders and the Afghan legal system depended highly on an individual community's local culture and the political and/or religious ideology of its leaders. Stoning also occurred in lawless areas, where vigilantes committed the act for political purposes. Once the Taliban took over, stoning became the official punishment for many crimes. The U.S.-led occupation
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 ended stoning as an official court ruling, but it still occurs unofficially. A Taliban-ordered public stoning of a couple accused of adultery took place in Kunduz
Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

 on August 15, 2010.

Indonesia


In 2009, a law was introduced in Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

 that called for the stoning of married adulterers but no cases of the sentence having been carried out have yet been reported.

Iraq


In 2007, Du'a Khalil Aswad
Stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad
-Asylum and return:Some news agencies reported that Aswad was being sheltered by a Yazidi tribal leader in Bashika in fear of her life until her family persuaded her that she had been forgiven and could return home. Other reports indicate that she was instead given asylum by a local Muslim Sheikh...

, a Yezidi girl, was stoned by her fellow tribesmen in northern Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

Iran



The Iranian judiciary officially placed a moratorium on stoning in 2002, although the punishment remained on the books, and there were a few cases of Judges handing down stoning sentences in 2006 and 2007 In 2008, Iran's judiciary decided to fully scrap the punishment from the books in a legislation submitted to parliament for approval. As of June 2009, Iran's parliament has been reviewing and revising the Islamic penal code to omit stoning as a form of punishment.

In Iran, stoning as a punishment did not exist until 1983, when the contemporary Islamic Penal Code was ratified. Many Muslim jurists in Iran are of the opinion that while stoning can be considered Islamic, the criteria under which it can be imposed as a sentence are stringent: Because of the large burden of proof needed to reach a guilty sentence of adultery, its penalty is hardly ever applicable.

Furthermore, while legally on the books, because of vociferous domestic and international controversy and outcry over stoning in the early years of the Islamic republic, the government placed official moratoriums on the punishment and, as a result, it was rarely practiced. Nevertheless, much of the public was outraged that such a practice instituted in the laws of the country. In 2002, Iran's judiciary indicated that stoning will no longer be practiced in Iran. However, following the election of Ahmadinejad, there were reports of judges handing down stoning sentences in 2006 and 2007. Finally, in 2008, Iran's judiciary decided to scrap the punishment of stoning in draft legislation submitted to parliament for approval. The Iranian judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad was quoted as saying "Stoning has been dropped from the penal code for a long time, and in the Islamic republic, we do not see such punishments being carried out", further adding that if stoning sentences were passed by lower courts, they were over-ruled by higher courts and "no such verdicts have been carried out."

Nigeria


Since the Sharia legal system was introduced in the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 in 2000, more than a dozen Nigerian Muslims have been sentenced to death by stoning for sexual offences ranging from adultery to homosexuality. However, none of these sentences has actually been carried out. They have either been thrown out on appeal or commuted to prison terms as a result of pressure from human rights groups.

Saudi Arabia, Sudan


Stonings, with and without legal proceedings, have been reported in Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

.

Somalia


In October, 2008, a girl, Aisho Ibrahim Dhuhulow, was buried up to her neck at a Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

n football stadium, then stoned to death in front of more than 1,000 people. The stoning occurred after she had allegedly pleaded guilty to adultery in a sharia court in Kismayo, a city controlled by Islamist
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 insurgents. According to the insurgents she had stated that she wanted sharia law to apply. However, other sources state that the victim had been crying, that she begged for mercy and had to be forced into the hole before being buried up to her neck in the ground. Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 later learned that the girl was in fact 13 years old and had been arrested by al-Shabab militia after she had reported being gang-raped by three men.

In December 2009, another instance of stoning was publicised after Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim was accused of adultery by the Hizbul Islam militant group.

Support for stoning


A survey carried out by the Indonesia Survey Institute found that 43% of Indonesians support Rajam or stoning for adulterers.

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the United States and the world. The Center and its projects receive funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1990, Donald S...

 found relatively widespread popular support for stoning as a punishment for adultery in Egypt (82% of respondents in favor of the punishment), Jordan (70% in favor), Indonesia (42% in favor), Pakistan (82% favor) and Nigeria (56% in favor).

Groups against stoning


Stoning has been condemned by several human rights organizations. Some groups, such as Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, oppose all capital punishment, including stoning. Other groups, such as RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan is a women's organization based in Quetta, Pakistan, that promotes women's rights and secular democracy...

), oppose stoning per se as an especially cruel practice.

Specific sentences of stoning, such as the Amina Lawal
Amina Lawal
Amina Lawal Kurami is a Nigerian woman. On March 22, 2002, an Islamic Sharia court sentenced her to death by stoning for adultery and for conceiving a child out of wedlock...

 case, have often generated international protest. Groups like Human Rights Watch, while in sympathy with these protests, have raised a concern that the Western focus on stoning as an especially "exotic" or "barbaric" act distracts from what they view as the larger problems of capital punishment. They argue that the "more fundamental human rights issue in Nigeria is the dysfunctional justice system."

In Iran, the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign was formed by various women's rights activists after a man and a woman were stoned to death in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

 in May 2006. The campaign's main goal is to legally abolish stoning as a form of punishment for adultery in Iran.

Cases of stoning or attempts at stoning



People stoned in religious texts


In the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 (Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

):
  • The son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian man, for cursing God
  • A man who gathered wood on Shabbat
    Shabbat
    Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

     
  • Achan
    Achan (Bible)
    Achan , also called Achar, is a figure mentioned by the Book of Joshua in connection with the fall of Jericho and conquest of Ai.According to the narrative of Joshua chapter 7, Achan pillaged an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver, and a costly garment, from Jericho; the text states "But all the...

     
  • Adoniram
    Adoniram
    Adoniram ; ; Hebrew, אדונירם, 'my Lord has exalted'; alternate form Adoram, 'the Lord has exalted'),the son of Abda, was the tax collector In the United Kingdom of Israel for over forty years, from the late years of King David's reign until the reign of Rehoboam. In the language of the Tanakh, he...

    , King Rehoboam
    Rehoboam
    Rehoboam was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David...

    's tax man
  • Naboth
    Naboth
    Naboth "the Jezreelite," is the central figure of a story from the Old Testament. According to the story, Naboth was the owner of a plot on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel...

    ,
  • Zechariah ben Jehoiada
    Zechariah ben Jehoiada
    Zechariah Ben Jehoiada was the son of Jehoiada, the high priest in the times of Ahaziah and Jehoash of Judah .After the death of Jehoiada, Zechariah boldly condemned both king Jehoash and the people for their rebellion against God...

    , who denounced the people's disobedience to the commandments
  • Yeshu
    Yeshu
    Yeshu is the name of an individual or individuals mentioned in Rabbinic literature. The oldest works in which references to Yeshu occur are the Tosefta and the Talmud, although some scholars consider the references to Yeshu to be post-Talmudic additions....

    , a person mentioned in the Talmud as a sorcerer and an inciter to idolatry


In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

:
  • Saint Stephen
    Saint Stephen
    Saint Stephen The Protomartyr , the protomartyr of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches....

    , accused of blasphemy c. AD 31 .

People who were almost stoned in religious texts


In the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 and Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

:
  • Moses
    Moses
    Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

     
  • Moses
    Moses
    Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

     and Aaron
    Aaron
    In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

     
  • David
    David
    David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

     


In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

:
  • The Gospel of John
    Gospel of John
    The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

     chapter 8 gives the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery, in which people wanted to stone the woman.
  • Jesus
    Jesus
    Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

     
  • The captain of the Temple and his officers
  • Paul of Tarsus
    Paul of Tarsus
    Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

    , stoned at Lystra
    Lystra
    Lystra was a city in what is now modern Turkey. It is mentioned five times in the New Testament. It was visited a few times by the Apostle Paul, along with Barnabas or Silas.-Location:...

     at the instigation of Jews. He was left for dead, but then revived.

Historical cases not mentioned above

  • Palamedes (mythology), stoned to death as a traitor.
  • Lucius Appuleius Saturninus
    Lucius Appuleius Saturninus
    Lucius Appuleius Saturninus was a Roman popularist and tribune; he was a political ally of Gaius Marius, and his downfall caused a great deal of political embarrassment for Marius, who absented himself from public life until he returned to take up a command in the Social War of 91 to 88...

    , d. 100 BC, grandfather of later triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
    Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
    Marcus Aemilius Lepidus , was a Roman patrician who rose to become a member of the Second Triumvirate and Pontifex Maximus. His father, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, had been involved in a rebellion against the Roman Republic.Lepidus was among Julius Caesar's greatest supporters...

  • Pancras of Taormina
    Pancras of Taormina
    Saint Pancras or Pancratius is said to have been born in Antioch in Cilicia . According to tradition, he travelled to Jerusalem with his parents during the earthly ministry of Jesus; later the entire family was baptized in Antioch...

    , about AD 40
  • James the Just
    James the Just
    James , first Bishop of Jerusalem, who died in 62 AD, was an important figure in Early Christianity...

    , in AD 62, after being condemned by the Sanhedrin
    Sanhedrin
    The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

  • Saint Timothy, after AD 67
  • Constantine-Silvanus
    Constantine-Silvanus
    Constantine-Silvanus was the founder of the Paulicians, an unorthdox Christian movement in 7th century Armenia.Constantine was born in Mananali, near Samosata, Syria. He founded the first Paulician community at Kibossa, near Colonia, Armenia and was its leader till his death by stoning.-Source:* ...

    , founder of the Paulicians, stoned in 684 in Armenia
    Armenia
    Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

  • Saint Eskil
    Saint Eskil
    Saint Eskil was an Anglo-Saxon monk particularly venerated during the end of the 11th century in the Province of Södermanland, Sweden. He was the founder of the first Diocese of the lands surrounding Lake Mälaren, today the Diocese of Strängnäs...

    , Anglo-Saxon monk stoned to death by Swedish Vikings, about 1080
  • Moctezuma II
    Moctezuma II
    Moctezuma , also known by a number of variant spellings including Montezuma, Moteuczoma, Motecuhzoma and referred to in full by early Nahuatl texts as Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, was the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlan, reigning from 1502 to 1520...

    , 1520, last Aztec Emperor (although the Aztecs claim he was executed by the Spanish)

Modern

  • Soraya Manutchehri
    Soraya Manutchehri
    Soraya Manutchehri was a 35-year-old woman who was stoned to death in the small village of Kuhpayeh, Iran on 15 August 1986 after being allegedly convicted of adultery....

    , 1986, stoned to death in Iran after being falsely accused of adultery
  • Du’a Khalil Aswad, 2007, a 17-year-old stoned to death in Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

  • Solange Medina, 2009, a 20 year old stoned to death in Juárez
    Colonia Juárez (Mexico City)
    Colonia Juarez is one of the better–known neighborhoods or colonias in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City. Its boundaries are: the corner of Paseo de la Reforma and Eje Bucareli to the north, Avenida Chapultepec to the south, Eje 1 Poniente to the east and Circuito Interior José Vasconcelos to...

    , Mexico
  • Gustavo Santoro, 2010, a small town mayor in Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

     believed to have been murdered by stoning
  • Murray Seidman, 2011, a 70 year old senior in Philadelphia, stoned to death by 28 year old John Thomas after allegedly making sexual advances towards the younger man. Thomas' defence is that he did it because The Bible says to stone homosexuals.
  • Vali Azad,aged 30, in Gilan province, Iran, 2009.
  • Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow,aged 13 in Kismayo, Somalia, 2008.
  • Shano and Daulat Khan Malikdeenkhe,in Khwezai - Baezai area, Pakistan, 2008
  • Mahboubeh M. And Abbas H,at Behest-e Zahra cemetery, southern Teheran, Iran, 2006.The public was not invited to the stoning, and the incident was not reported to the media, howewer it was spread by word to mouth to a journalist and womans rights activist. The activist gathered information and further exposed the happening to the world. In response to this, several womans rights activists, Lawyers and members of the Networks of Voulenteers went on to form the Stop Stoning Forever campaign to stop stoning in Iran.
  • Sara Jaffar Nimat, aged 11,in the town of Khanaqin, iraqi Kurdistan, 2007. She had been hit by bricks and stones, and burnt.
  • Jafar Kiani, in Agche - kand, a small village near Takestan, Iran, 2007.
  • Kurdistan Aziz, aged 16, iraqi kurdistan, 2008. She had been stoned in an act of "Honour" - killing.

People who were almost stoned

  • Amina Lawal
    Amina Lawal
    Amina Lawal Kurami is a Nigerian woman. On March 22, 2002, an Islamic Sharia court sentenced her to death by stoning for adultery and for conceiving a child out of wedlock...

    , sentenced to death by stoning in Nigeria in 2002, but freed on appeal
  • Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani , is an Iranian woman who has gained the attention of human rights groups and people throughout the world for a conviction of adultery and accompanying sentence of death by stoning. Since 2006, she has been imprisoned and under a death sentence in Tabriz, Iran after being...

     sentenced to death by stoning in Iran in 2007, but sentence is under review
  • Safiya Husseini, sentenced to death by stoning in Nigeria but freed on appeal..
  • Shaheen Abdel Rahman and Unnamed woman, in Fujeirah, United Arab Emirates, 2006

In literature

  • Shirley Jackson
    Shirley Jackson
    Shirley Jackson was an American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years...

    's "The Lottery
    The Lottery
    "The Lottery" is a short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in the June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker. Written the same month it was published, it is ranked today as "one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature"....

    " depicts a lottery in which one member of a small, isolated American community is stoned to death ritually each year as a sacrifice. It explores themes of scapegoating, man's inherent evil and the destructive nature of observing ancient, outdated rituals. The music video for "Man That You Fear
    Man That You Fear
    "Man That You Fear" is a promotional-only single from Marilyn Manson's second studio album, Antichrist Superstar, and is the final song on the album. It is a very gentle song, comparable to "Coma White" on Mechanical Animals...

    " by Marilyn Manson
    Marilyn Manson
    Marilyn Manson may refer to:* Marilyn Manson , an American rock musician* Marilyn Manson , the American rock band led by the singer of the same name...

     is based on these events.
  • Robert A. Heinlein
    Robert A. Heinlein
    Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of...

    's Stranger in a Strange Land
    Stranger in a Strange Land
    Stranger in a Strange Land is a 1961 science fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with—and...

    reaches its climax with a stoning execution.
  • Freidoune Sahebjam
    Freidoune Sahebjam
    Freidoune Sahebjam   was a French-Iranian journalist, war correspondent, and novelist who resided in Neuilly-sur-Seine in France....

    's The Stoning of Soraya M.
    The Stoning of Soraya M.
    The Stoning of Soraya M. is a 2008 American drama film adapted from French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam's 1990 book La Femme Lapidée, based on a true story...

    is a true story of a woman who was stoned to death in Iran in 1986.
  • Simon Perry's All Who Came Before climaxes with a stoning as Barabbas enters Jerusalem.

In film and television

  • Seven Sleepers, 2005 – A series running on Iranian TV, in which medieval (300–400 AD) Jews stone Christians.
  • A Stoning in Fulham County, 1988 – A made-for-TV movie surrounding the vigilante stoning in an American Amish
    Amish
    The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

     community.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian
    Monty Python's Life of Brian
    Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film written, directed and largely performed by the Monty Python comedy team...

    presents a Jesus of Nazareth-era stoning in a humorous context, ending with a massive boulder being dropped on the Jewish official, not the victim. The film mentions that women are not allowed at stonings, yet almost all of the stone-throwers turn out to be women disguised as men.
  • Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" was made into a short (20 minute) film by Larry Yust in 1969 as part of an educational release for Encyclopædia Britannica's "Short Story Showcase".
  • The film The Kite Runner
    The Kite Runner (film)
    The Kite Runner is a 2007 drama film directed by Marc Forster based on the novel of the same name by Khaled Hosseini. It tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who is tormented by the guilt of abandoning his friend Hassan, the son of his father's...

    depicts the stoning of an adulteress by the Taliban in a public stadium during a football match.
  • The film Mission Istanbul
    Mission Istanbul
    Mission Istaanbul is a 2008 action film starring Vivek Oberoi, Zayed Khan and Shriya Saran. The film, directed by Apoorva Lakhia, features Abhishek Bachchan in a special appearance.-Plot:...

    depicts the stoning of an adulteress in Kabul
    Kabul
    Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

    , by the fictional terrorist group Abu Nazir until it is interrupted by the protagonist Vikas Sagar.
  • The Stoning of Soraya M.
    The Stoning of Soraya M.
    The Stoning of Soraya M. is a 2008 American drama film adapted from French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam's 1990 book La Femme Lapidée, based on a true story...

    2009
  • Year One
  • Zorba The Greek
    Zorba the Greek
    Zorba the Greek is a 1964 film based on the novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. The film was directed by Cypriot Michael Cacoyannis and the title character was played by Anthony Quinn...

    , a 1946 Novel by Nikos Kazantzakis and 1964 movie with Anthony Quinn, has grim stoning scene where the woman is rescued only to be stabbed at the scene
  • The stoning (2006), a film by Harald Holzenleiter
  • Osama
    Osama (film)
    Osama is a 2003 film made in Afghanistan by Siddiq Barmak. It is about a girl living in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime who disguises herself as a boy, Osama, to support her family. It was the first film to be shot entirely in Afghanistan since 1996, when the Taliban régime banned the...

    (2003) by director Siddiq Barmak
    Siddiq Barmak
    Siddiq Barmak in Panjshir, Afghanistan, is a film director and producer. He received an M.A degree in cinema direction from the Moscow Film Institute in 1987.He has written a few screenplays and has made a few short films...

     depicts a women being buried in preparation for stoning
  • In one CSI: Miami 2011 episode a female college bully is murdered by lapidation

Although islamic law prescribes stoning for married adulterers, the television - series Sleeper Cell, about an underground radical islamist group, depicts a scene where a member is stoned for treason.

See also

  • Ishikozume
    Ishikozume
    Ishikozume was a ritual execution performed in ancient Japan by the Yamabushi - practitioners of Shugendō. The ritual is characterized by waist high burial in earth followed by lapidation ....

     (Japan)
  • Shab Qadar Incident
  • Stoning of the Devil
    Stoning of the Devil
    Stoning of the Devil or stoning of the jamarat is part of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslim pilgrims fling pebbles at three walls called jamarat in the city of Mina just east of Mecca. It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in...

  • Gang Stalking


Individuals
  • Malak Ghorbany
    Malak Ghorbany
    Shamemeh Malak Ghorbany is an Iranian woman, from the suburbs of the town of Naqdeh who was sentenced to death by stoning for allegedly having committed adultery. She is the mother of two children, a girl named Someyeh and a son, Ahmad...

  • Amina Lawal
    Amina Lawal
    Amina Lawal Kurami is a Nigerian woman. On March 22, 2002, an Islamic Sharia court sentenced her to death by stoning for adultery and for conceiving a child out of wedlock...

  • Stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad
    Stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad
    -Asylum and return:Some news agencies reported that Aswad was being sheltered by a Yazidi tribal leader in Bashika in fear of her life until her family persuaded her that she had been forgiven and could return home. Other reports indicate that she was instead given asylum by a local Muslim Sheikh...


External links