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"It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms." She said activists will also push the UN to adopt a resolution on stoning similar to the one passed last year on eradicating female genital mutilation – another form of violence against women often justified on religious and cultural grounds.Stoning is not legal in most Muslim countries and there is no mention of it in the Koran.Origins Stoning has been used as a form of community justice throughout history in various religious and cultural traditions, many pre-dating Islam.Unlike beheading, which is performed by a single executioner, stoning is carried out by a group. Stoning is legal or practised in at least 15 countries or regions.They are using Twitter and other social media to put pressure on the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to denounce the practice. It is a form of torturing someone to death," said Naureen Shameem of the international rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws.The practice has been documented among the Ancient Greeks to punish people judged to be prostitutes, adulterers or murderers.

If a man is unhappy with his wife he can – depending on the country – divorce, take other wives or marry another woman temporarily. She can divorce only in certain circumstances and risks losing custody of her children.

Even the manner of stoning is loaded against women.

People sentenced to stoning in Iran are partially buried. But women are customarily buried up to their chests while men are only buried up to their waists.

But supporters argue that it is legitimised by the Hadith – the acts and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed.

Stoning is set out as a specific punishment for adultery under several interpretations of sharia or Islamic law.

Today, it is predominantly associated with Muslim culture. Supporters of stoning say the Hadith depicts the Prophet as occasionally ordering stoning in cases of extramarital sex.

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