Stoning is Not our Culture: A Comparative Analysis of Human Rights and Religious Discourses in Iran and Nigeria


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Violence is Not our Culture Campaign

Stoning is a cruel form of torture that is used to punish men and women for adultery and other ‘improper’ sexual relations. It is currently sanctioned by law and carried out by state actors in at least two countries, and at least seven individuals have been stoned to death in the last five years.

This briefing paper analyses the stoning punishment through several lenses. First, we explain how stoning violates basic human rights. Stoning is a form of torture that is often characterised by gender discrimination and unfair judicial processes. Second, although stoning is often justified in the name of Islam, the use of stoning today is wholly un-Islamic and religiously illegitimate. Since stoning is implemented differently in different contexts, this paper presents two case studies – Iran and Nigeria – in order to examine the issue in a comparative perspective. These case studies detail the specific ways in which stoning arises, as well as how local activists work to eliminate stoning in their own countries. We conclude with specific recommendations to policy makers and civil society.

Author: Rochelle Terman and Mufuliat Fijabi


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