After spending eleven years in prison awaiting death by stoning because of committing adultery, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi was released on Monday March 17. Ebrahimi and her partner Ja’far Kiani were convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned to death in northwestern Iran.
According to Amnesty International, the Stop Stoning Forever campaign in Iran publicized the plans for the public stoning of the couple and rallied against it. However, Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.
Shadi Sadr, Ebrahimi’s lawyer and anti-stoning activist, told Amnesty International, “It was a rare ruling…I cannot tell how the commission came up with this decision…But you cannot deny the role of public opinion and domestic and international pressures.”
The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! reports that the head of the Judiciary of Iran Ayatollah Shahroudi outlawed the practice of stoning, a historical and religious punishment for adultery, in 2002. However, the laws were never officially removed from the code. Amnesty International estimates that at least 12 people await death by stoning.