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Iran Extends Enforcement Of Islamic Penal Code, Including Stoning

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning before her sentence was suspended.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has extended for another year enforcement of the Islamic Penal Code that mandates punishments that include stoning, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ahmadinejad on February 6 issued a notification to extend enforcement of the code until March 2012, the beginning of the Iranian new year, following ratification by the Iranian parliament in December 2010.

Lashing, amputation of hands, and stoning to death are among the punishments permitted under the code.

The Islamic Penal Code was originally ratified by the parliament's Legal and Judicial Commission in 1982 and passed by the top legislative body, the Guardian Council, for an experimental period of five years. Since its revision in 1991, the law's experimental implementation has been repeatedly extended.

According to Iran's constitution, the experimental implementation of a law is approved by parliamentary commissions and is never debated by all lawmakers. Such laws are not permanent.

Abdolkarim Lahiji, the Paris-based vice president of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, told Radio Farda on February 7 that the experimental implementation of Iran's Islamic punishment law has been repeatedly extended for three decades.

He said this shows the Iranian regime is incapable of making laws compatible with today's social conditions.

He said Iran's Islamic punishment law has never helped prevent crime, but rather has incited violence in its severest form.