Men who are to be stoned are buried up to their waist - and suffer even more pain and brutality before succumbing.
Iranian judges found that one such woman should be stoned to death:
Convicted of adultery in 2006, Ashtiani has been sentenced to be stoned to death for her alleged crime.All that is despite evidence that she was coerced into confessing to a crime she didn't commit.
Originally sentenced to 99 lashes for her alleged "illicit relationship outside of marriage," Ashtiani endured that punishment in front of her then 17-year-old son.
"The authorities asked if I wanted to wait outside. I said no. I could not leave my mother alone."
Sajjad says it is a day he will never forget. But, he says, that day he thought the worst was over.
"I was thinking, OK, they hit her, now it's finished. They told me this process was finished. She's done. She's free to go. "
But then a judges' panel in Tabriz suspected Ashtiani of being involved in her husband's murder and re-opened her case.
She was cleared of the murder charges, but the panel re-examined Ashtiani's adultery sentence, and based on unspecified "judges' knowledge," decided she should be put to death for the alleged affair.