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Iran to investigate judge who ordered stoning execution of 'adulterer'

[JURIST] Iran has opened an investigation into the judge who ordered the stoning execution of a man convicted of adultery [BBC report], the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) [media website, in Farsi] reported Wednesday. According to ISNA, an unnamed judicial official said the action was in violation of the 2002 directive of judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi [BBC profile] and would be investigated by the judges' disciplinary court. ISNA also said numerous judiciary officials have taken steps to ensure that the moratorium on stoning executions is upheld and that the man's companion, who was also sentenced to death by stoning, is protected.

The international community has broadly criticized the execution. UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour criticized both the death sentence and the chosen method of execution [JURIST report] Tuesday, saying Iran is bound by international law [treaty text] to ensure the death penalty be only imposed for "the most serious, violent crimes" and that stoning clearly violates laws against cruel and inhumane punishments. Amnesty International [advocacy website] called for the Iranian judiciary to intervene [press release] and prevent the executed man's companion from meeting the same fate. AFP has more.

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