Shamemeh Malak Ghorbany (also known as Malak or Malek) is an Iranian woman, from the suburbs of the town of Naqdeh (province of Kurdistan) who was sentenced to death by stoning for allegedly having committed adultery. She is the mother of two children, a girl named Someyeh and a son, Ahmad. 
Malak's brothers and husband had murdered a man they found in her house, accused her of having an affair with him, and she too was nearly killed when they stabbed her. The men were convicted of deserved or ‘legitimate’ murder and received a sentence of six years’ imprisonment. In a letter to the court submitted by her lawyer during her first trial, Ghorbany is quoted as saying, “Since I am a rural, illiterate woman and I didn’t know the law, I thought that if I confessed to a relationship with the dead man, I could clear my brothers and husband of intentional murder. I said these untrue words in court and then understood I had done myself an injury.”
On June 28, 2006, a court in the northwestern Iranian city of Urmia sentenced Malak Ghorbany to death by stoning for committing adultery. Under Iran's Penal Code, adultery committed by a married person carries the death penalty.
Ghorbany's case gained international attention when noted international human rights lawyer and activist. Lily Mazahery, launched a global campaign in support of her. In July 2006, various European and Asian rights organizations participated in coordinated demonstrations held outside Iran's embassies and consulate offices in different cities. In a number of public statements, the protesting organizations condemned stoning executions as a crime against humanity, demanded immediate and unconditional clemency for Malak Ghorbany, and called upon the Iranian regime to permanently ban stoning sentences.
According to an Amnesty International report: "In November 2006, [Iran's] Supreme Court ruled that the trial verdict was based on insufficient or incomplete evidence, and overturned the sentence of execution by stoning. The case was returned to a lower court for a retrial. In late July or August 2008, the court ruled that Shamemeh Ghorbani should not be stoned to death, but instead she received a sentence of 100 lashes. She was released from prison in Oroumiye, western Iran, where she had been held since 2005, but her sentence may still be implemented."
References and notes
- Hentoff, Nat (September 12, 2006). "Stoning Women to Death" (in English). The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- "Save Malak Ghorbany from stoning" (in English). Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- DURUKAN, Ayse (July 14, 2006). "Women Protest Stoning To Death of Iranian". "The campaign to stop the execution of Ghorbany was originally launched a week ago by her American lawyer Lily Mazahery who has so far collected nearly 2,000 signatures and is hoping to collect far more. " (in English) (Bianet News).
- The stoning of Malak Ghorbany Turkish Daily News, Sunday, July 16, 2006
- Islamic Justice - Woman Adulterer To be Stoned To Death, Murderers Get Jail Kurdish Aspect June 29, 2006
- Group Urges Bush to Rebuke Iran's Stoning of Women CNS News August 23, 2006