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What Year Is It? Iranian Woman Spared Death by Stoning

International pressure may have saved the life of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning. After 11 years behind bars for committing adultery, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi has been freed. Her partner, Jafar Kiani, was stoned to death in July 2007, causing an international uproar. Though the official reason for her release is unclear, human and women rights campaigns surely had an impact.


Article 102 of the Iranian penal code details the stoning sentence. Men should be buried up to their waists and women up to their breasts while being stoned. Ms. Ebrahimi would have been the first official stoning since 2002.

International pressure doesn't just save the lives of criminals in Iran. Often, countries refuse to extradite suspects to the US, unless authorities agree not to seek the death penalty. Recently, Brazil agreed to extradite a Colombian drug lord to the US, only after receiving a guarantee that the US would not to impose execution.

I wonder if the American reaction to Iranian stoning, mirrors the way other Western countries react to the US executions. Do you think these actions, which raise international human rights concerns, are comparable?

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