Jabari v. Turkey  | 2000

Young woman saved from being stoned to death in Iran

…at the age of 22, the applicant met a man in Iran while attending a secretarial college. She fell in love with him and after some time they decided to get married.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, July 2000


Hoda Jabari was 22 when she fell in love. She had met the man at college in Iran. The couple decided that they should get married.

However, their love was forbidden by the man's family. His stopped the marriage, and two years later he ended up marrying someone else. Nevertheless, Hoda and the man continued to see each other in secret.

They were soon both arrested by the Iranian police. The officers gave Ms Jabari a virginity examination. She was suspected of participating in adultery, for which she could be stoned to death under Iranian law.

With the help of her family, Hoda was released a few days later. Still under threat of stoning, she fled to Istanbul. Hoda tried to seek asylum in Turkey, but her request was denied because it had been made too late. The Turkish authorities were about to send her back to Iran when she appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for help.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

The European court ruled that sending Hoda back to Iran to face a possible stoning would violate her basic rights.

…punishment of adultery by stoning still remains on the statute book [in Iran] and may be resorted to by the authorities…

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, July 2000


Hoda was not sent back to Iran. Following the European court’s ruling she was granted a residence permit in Turkey. She left to seek a new life in Canada in 2001. 


Related examples

Justice for mentally handicapped sixteen-year old subjected to sexual abuse

Mentally handicapped Miss Y. was sexually abused the night after her sixteenth birthday. Y.’s father tried to bring a criminal prosecution against the attacker, but Dutch law stated that only the victim could start such a prosecution. Y.’s condition meant she could not do this, so her attacker was not brought to justice. The European court ruled that this violated her basic rights.

Read more

Justice after authorities failed to investigate allegations of police brutality

Aleksandr Mihhailov claimed that he had been violently beaten by police officers – both in a public place and after regaining consciousness in a police station. The Strasbourg court ruled that the subsequent investigation was not independent and suffered from serious flaws, such as a failure to collect relevant evidence. Reforms were carried out to make investigations more independent.

Read more

Stronger protections for detainees after police mistreat dental technician

Vladimir Kummer was a dental technician. One night he was allegedly found urinating in the street. Police officers put him in a cell, where he was shackled to a wall and allegedly beaten. The Strasbourg court ruled that Mr Kummer had been subjected to degrading treatment and that there had not been a proper investigation. The incident led to significant changes to avoid such treatment in...

Read more