A last-minute effort to stop stoning of Iranian woman

An Iranian mother of two will be stoned to death in Iran for a crime she may not have committed unless human rights activists succeed at generating last-minute opposition to the stoning.

The woman, Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, was convicted of adultery in 2006. She confessed to the crime after being subjected to 99 lashes, but retracted her confession later and has since denied wrongdoing. She has asked for clemency from the Iranian courts, but has been rebuffed.

The case contained irregularities that call the verdict into question, activists point out. Human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei pointed out that Ashtiani, a woman of Azeri descent from the northern city of Tabriz, may not have understood the proceedings, as she speaks Turkish, not Farsi. In addition, the case appears to have violated Article 74 of the Iranian penal code, which requires at least four witnesses -- either four men or three men and two women -- for an adulterer to receive a stoning sentence. There were no witnesses in Ashtiani's case.

But as the Iranian Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 2007, Ashtiani has no legal recourse. Veteran Iranian human rights activist Mina Ahadi, head of the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty, told CNN, "Legally it's all over. It's a done deal. Sakineh can be stoned at any minute.

"That is why we have decided to start a very broad, international public movement. Only that can help."

Death by stoning involves burying the person to be executed up to his or her neck, then hurling large stones at the head. The stones are large enough to cause serious pain, but do not produce immediate death. According to Amnesty International, women make up a disproportionate number of those sentenced to death by stoning, accounting for a sizable majority of all such cases. Amnesty has called on Iranian officials to immediately call a halt to all executions, commute all death sentences, and move towards repeal of its death penalty laws. Amnesty reports 126 persons had been executed in Iran from January 1 to June 6 of this year.

Ahadi said that Iranian clerics have historically been sensitive to world opinion in matters like this. "Experience shows [that] ... when the pressure gets very high, the Islamic government starts to say something different."

The U.S. State Department has also criticized the stoning, saying it raises questions of serious human rights violations in Iran.

Written by Sandy Smith
For HULIQ.com

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER... DO NOT KILL HER...

Submitted by richard lee (not verified) on
I would like to see the backgrounds of these pure ones who are about to stone this woman!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This poor woman has ALREADY suffered far beyond what anyone should ever have to go through, from the 99 lashes. The only ones deserving of THAT are the ones that do it or cause it to be done to someone else! They are evil devils beyond what any words can describe. These horrors need to be stopped. As long as such horrendous evils are allowed to be done to people, I think that all women should wear poison around their neck or somewhere on their person so that they could drink it and die painlessly if they were about to fall into the hands of those devils, rather than go through horrific torture. That is certainly what I would want if in that situation - to pass on to the next world and be safe from the horrible pain and suffering that can be inflicted on fragile physical bodies.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Everyone please pray for this woman---Because people of that country do not believe like we, as a Christian Nation does---Our only hope hope in helping her is through prayer!!! GOD"S hands are never tied!!!!!!!!! Nothing is impossible with him--PRAY_PRAY_PRAY

Submitted by EWJ (not verified) on
Well, the dark ages do live on, in certain parts of the world. We even have people living in the stone age as well. Look at what they do in Borneo. Headhunters and the like. So, if we want to stop it, we need to go over there and bomb them, take them over and "re-educate" their ways. Otherwise, why bother the rest of us, with this news..... Thanks.....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Do not kill her! I can't believe that Iran practices such horrific acts. No respect for women or children. Sick.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
JOHN 8:7---"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her".

Submitted by GFM (not verified) on
It is wrong to kill anyone, no matter what religion, culture, or country they come from. Allah/God is not in favor of this rule. These are man made rules as are all government laws. If this is such a religious country as they say they are, then why not give this woman a prison term to serve. But remember, those who do the stoning, and decide this are MURDERERS the same as any other MURDERER on any street in any town in any country. Muslim or not, MURDER is MURDER....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
As US citizens, what can we do besides feel appalled and outraged? How can we let the clerics who care about world public opinion know that we feel so strongly?

Submitted by Beth Liskow (not verified) on
Only truly evil men would pass a cruel sentence such as this upon a woman. Any person would make a false confession after receiving 99 lashes (man or woman). What a truly idiotic and barbaric society Iran is. Are there no good, honest, and caring men in that government at all? Apparently not.

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