6 January 2003, according to the state-sponsored newspapers in Iran, the Islamic regime has suspended Islamic punishment of death by stoning. The head of Adminstrative Justice Court, in an interview on 27 December 2002, announced that Shahroudi, the head of the Judiciary Council of the Islamic regime, has, in a letter to judges, ordered them not to issue stoning sentences for unlawful marriage(sexual relation outside marrige).

The Islamic regime of Iran has carried out the middle-aged punishment of stoning, reportedly, more then one hundred fifty women and men, mostly women, have been stoned to death since 1979. The most recent cases were those of a woman and a man by the names of Goli Nik-khoo and Younes Assadi who were stoned to death in the city of Naghadeh. In the city of Yazd, a woman, Nosrat Abouei, managed to set herself free during the stoning and is now in prison awaiting execution, as are four other women (Sima, Ferdows, Shahnaz and Ashraf) who have all received sentences of death by stoning.

In oppose to this barbaric punishment,the Iranian left and progressive organisations, women´s rights groups and democratic organisations such as AIPP(in Exile), and Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, have carried out a constant campaign. This campaign has resulted in a pressure on the European Union to urge the Islamic regime to observe human rights,at least in some area. Whereas , the Islamic regime is in a critical situation and facing political, social and economic difficulties, and In terms of surving-as they need to have a closer relationship with the European Union-They had no other choice but to step back in most discussable human rights question of the day in Iran.

The halt of stoning in Iran is a victory for those of Iranian left and progressive organisations, democratic and women’s rights groups that have been campaigning for the abolition of stoning. Though the suspension of stoning does not mean that this dreadful punishment has been abolished but it is still a victory for those who are opposing this barbaric punishment. There are other punishments such as death penalty whether by firing gun or by hanging,torture of all kinds,amputing fingers, beheading, throwing victims from the mountain and taking off the eyes are as dreadful as stoning.

In spite of the halt of stoning, the leaders of the Islamic regime, female representatives of the Islamic parliament in particular are already discussing alternative forms of punishment - including execution - for sexual relation outside marriage.

AIPP(in Exile) opposes capital punishment and any forms of punishment for sexual relations ouside marriage. Consensual sex relation between two people is their private matter which no state has the right to interfere in. Our compaign will continued until all capital punishments including stoning and sexual aparthied is totally abolished in Iran.

As we see ourselves as internationalists, we continue to fight for abolishment of such dreadful punishments over the world.