Saturday, February 25, 2006

How Does One Get Stoned in Iran?

How Does One Get "Stoned" in Iran?

Thanks to both The Religion of Peace and What Would Charles Martel Do for the photograph, and to Charles for this text:

"Death by stoning in Iran has. . . become a brutal abuse of power and a barbaric example of outright defiance of the International Declaration of Human Rights as well as most modern standards. Treatment of women in many islamic countries fall under this category of course, but that is another issue.

The method of execution by stoning (usually for the crime of adultery) used in Iran involves burying a woman to her shoulders and then stoning her to death with rocks of a specified size. The intent behind the specification of rock size is to have the executioners not use stones that would not do enough damage nor to use larger ones which might kill or render the victim unconscious immediately, the implication of course being to inflict as much suffering as possible.

The face of the woman in a picture smuggled out of Iran in 1992 haunts me, and though I have searched, I have been unable to find her story. The story of a woman killed in the same Iranian town if Arak in 1994 has been reported on, and is one of the most horrific things I have possibly ever heard of. This woman (name unknown to me) was buried in preparation and her last request to have her husband and children sent away so as not to see her execution was denied.

During the stoning, this woman managed to dig her way free, despite the fact that her eyes were gouged out, and began to run away. According to some reports, this method of escape ends the execution. This woman, however, was chased down and shot by a firing squad."

Thank you again, TROP and What.

I, too, had seen a description of actual eyewitness account of a stoning, but it was quite a long time ago. I believe I have found it again, however, and will include it here. The process is every bit as horrendous as you might imagine.

The victim of this barbaric torture was named Soraya, and the whole story of Soraya M's death is in a book ("The Stoning of Soraya M., by Freidoune Sahebjam, available at and other bookstores). The article I found with this material in it is at :

The author states:

"Over the past fifteen years, more than 1000 women have been stoned to death in Iran. Here is the true and shocking story of one such woman." The book is based on an eyewitness account and it documents, day by day and hour by hour, a terrible miscarriage of justice.

I will reproduce selected elements from the front and back flaps of the jacket and from the text of the book itself here as accompaniment to the picture above.

From the jacket:

"The woman who had been sentenced to death stood facing the silent crowd. Her head was held high, and her eyes were fixed on old Zayhra, who was staring back at her. . .[the crowd grew] more and more restive as they looked at the defenseless woman being lowered into the pit. Stone in hand, they awaited Machdi Ebrahim's orders.

Soraya M.'s husband, Ghorban-Ali, was a shiftless, ambitious man, prone to rages and dreams of wealth. . .[who] wanted to get out of his marriage. . .

"The gravediggers returned with their shovels and spades and began to fill up the hole. With each shovelful of dirt, they intoned "In the name of Allah!"

And from the text of the book itself:

"Sheik Hassan. . .raised high the Koran and said: 'May the will of the Almighty be done, and may Islamic law be carried out.'

"It was then that everything began.

"With a sweeping gesture of both his arms, Machdi Ebrahim motioned for the crowd to move back several steps. He took a piece of cord from his pocket and counted out fifteen cubits. He carefully cut the cord and handed it to Shokrollah. 'This measures somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-two to twenty-five feet,' he said. 'Using the hole as your center, go draw me a circle. Mark it with quicklime.'

"Using Soraya's head as the center, Shokrollah drew a circle on the ground.

"The mayor took a stone and handed it to Soraya's father: 'It is to you,' he said, 'that befalls the honor throwing the first stone. . .'

"The old man. . .took the large stone in his hand. . .and as he threw the stone with all his might. . .he shouted: 'Allah be praised! . . . There, whore, take that!'

"He missed the mark. . . Four times he tried to strike his daughter, in vain. In a state of rage, he said: 'Give me another stone. I'm going to crush her skull. . .I'm going to split open the woman's head!

"Then it was Ghorban-Ali's turn. . .

" 'Your turn, my boy,' the mayor said to him affectionately, 'and may God guide your arm.'

"The presumably cuckolded husband drew back his arm and then launched his stone, which streaked toward the woman's head missing by a scant six inches.

". . .a second stone. . .just grazed the woman's head. . . a third stone was thrown, this one striking the victim's right shoulder. A barely audible sound came from her mouth, and her chest gave a slight shudder.

"The crowd was screaming hysterically now, and there were ripples of applause from the men. The shadow of a smile flitted across Ghorban-Ali's face; he picked up another stone, aimed more carefully, and threw it as hard as he could. This time the stone struck the woman on the forehead, just at the hairline. The skin burst open, blood began to trickle down her face, as Soraya's head jerked violently backward.

"That's it, you got her! Good for you, Ghorban-Ali. He got her, did you see? Throw another stone, go ahead, give the slut what she deserves!

"The victim's two sons were next. They both picked up stones and threw them at the same time. One of them struck her on the head. There was a sound, like a loud hiccup, as her head jerked back.

"Now the stones were flying thick and fast. . .only a few feet in front of [the crowd] was a head [that] kept bobbing to and fro in time to the stones that were striking it. . . despite the mayor's dire warning, the villagers had been creeping closer and closer to their target, and as a result, there were many more direct hits than when the spectacle began.

"Finally it was Sheik Hassan's turn. He put his Koran in his left hand and, with his right, picked up a large stone. . .he turned back to the crowd and said. . .'I am not the one who is throwing this stone. . .It is God who is guiding my arm. . . It is he who commands me and the revenge I am meting out is not for me, but for our imam, revenge for the heinous crive this woman has committed. . .I shall throw as many stones as it takes to kill this bitch. And afterward the rest of you can throw your stones as well.

"In the center of the circle, Soraya was slowly expiring. Her head and chest were little more than a shapeless mass of bloody flesh. The noisy crowd, completely out of control, broke ranks and moved in even closer, ready for the kill. Her scalp was nothing more than a gaping wound; her jaw had exploded; her eyes and nose burst open. Her head drooped at a grotesque angle. . .over what remained of her right shoulder."

"Hassan, his robe spattered with blood, raised his arm. . .'My dear friends. . .listen to me for a moment. . .I believe that God has done his work. . . Would someone like to check and make certain the harlot is dead?

"Several men raised their hands. Hassan picked Said the well digger. The man lay down on the ground right next to the victim and put his year close to Soraya's open mouth. 'She's still alive. . .The bitch still hasn't died.'

"A man slowly stepped forward, holding a stone above his head with both hands, and brought it down directly on top of her skull. Another followed, and picked up a brick that was lying there next to the victim, and hit her furious with it half a dozen times. The skull burst open, and the brains spilled out onto the ground.

"Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!

"A sudden silence came over the assembly. Then. . .the crowd intoned, together with the mullah: 'In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful."

(Condemned to death by the Khomeini regime for his writings, Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam returned undercover to his native land in 1987 in order to research this book. He lives in France.)


Kiddo said...

Thank you. I had wondered if that was the same woman since your comment, but could not be sure. Now she at least has a name and a story that can be shared with the world and is no longer another faceless victim of sharia. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think the person in that photo is not a woman, it is a man. Men are buried up to the waist and women are buried up to the neck. The man in this photo does not have a hijab, but a type of "death shroud".
Women are buried up to the neck to prevent the breasts from becoming exposed during the brutal attack. At least being buried to the neck allows a more merciful death as most of the stones strike the head area, a man will take more "body-shots" and prolong the torture.

Anonymous said...

and reports of people digging out to escape are unfounded. Traditionally this is allowed, but since your hands are tied behind your back, it never really occurs.

Cubed © said...


Thank you for your observations and comments. Certainly, we have heard that men are also stoned.

The picture did not come from the book "Soraya M's Stoning," however. It is a picture of a person whose name is not known to me.

As I recall, there are at least three pictures of Soraya herself in the book - one of her when she was a child of nine, and two others at the end of the stoning.

The one that I remember with particular horror is the one at the very end of her execution, where the remains of her head can barely be made out.

Be it a man or a woman, stoning is stoning. When I saw the picture, I thought I would try to find the description of the real-life stoning that I had read and present it here.

This is one case where I think that the words are worth at least as much, if not more, than a picture alone.

Stogie said...

My understanding is that a man is buried up to his neck and a woman is only buried up to her shoulders. The reason is that a man has greater upper body strength and is able to dig out a little better than a woman.

The picture in your post actually first was published at, along with a story about stoning and the laws of what size rocks are to be used: palm sized, not too large so as to kill quickly, not too small so as to kill slowly or not at all.

The link to the original article at FPM is on the ROP website.

Stogie said...

One more comment to Anonymous: The victim in the picture is most certainly a woman, not a man. If it were a man, he would surely have a beard. This is Iran, after all.

Cubed © said...

Thanks for the source, Stogie - I'll go take a look. Horrible. This sort of thing must be eliminated.

Cubed © said...


Just got back from ROP (where I had seen the picture, but not the article) and the article from Frontpagemag.

Very valuable stuff there, beyond the picture of the person being stoned. I recommend it:

von Schlichtningen said...

This is barbarism. Those people are worse than animals. In our own past they were called the inquisition; but I do not think parents and children participated in the torture.

I think all means are valid in fighting such as those.

bolkalia said...

Brutality in all its manifestations forms the core of the Abrahamic faiths. Stoning to death is just one example of the ancient practice that found its way in these religions. Incidently, it is only these faiths that espouse such brutal draconian laws and priciples to guide and scare it followers into submission. Makes you wonder about there God!

Anonymous said...

let he who is without sin cast the first stone

Anonymous said...

And they call Islam a religion of 'peace' haha what a joke right.... And there God says its ok to kill. Seriously feel sorry for any muslim following such a rubbish religion which was actually created by the devil.. the so called angel that apperead to mohammad was not an angel but satan himself disquised by light... This religion teaches hate, violence and no respect for women. How can any muslim who watches and reads these storys even keep following knowing there so called god allows these stonings to happen. The only way through to the father is through Christ!!! I pray for the many muslims around the world that one day they may see the light and be saved. In jesus name!

Anonymous said...

Islam is not a religion of peace but hate, violence and no respect for women. I hope one day all muslims see the light and turn from this evil religion! This story is discraceful and makes me wonder how any muslim cancontinue to follow a religion that allows these brutal murders.