On January 30, 2008, Iran's chief judge issued a ban against all public executions not specially permitted by the head of the judiciary. Ayatollah Mahmound Hashemi Shahroudi also banned the publication of pictures and videos of executions and ordered state prosecutors to enforce the bans. Shahroudi was previously responsible for issuing a 2002 moratorium against stoning and declaring a ban on using torture to force confessions. The ban followed an April 2007 report from Amnesty International (AI), which named Iran as having one of the three highest execution rates in the world, along with China and Pakistan. By August 2008, Iran stopped the use of stoning as a method of execution.
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