A last-minute effort to stop stoning of Iranian woman

Sandy Smith's picture

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 Sarah (not verified) on
The possibility of innocence must be considered. This poor mother and her poor innocent children. The world's heart reaches out to this woman in the possibility she may be innocent. Please consider that possibility.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I posted this on another site. Reposting it here: We love you, Sakineh. We know you have suffered far beyond what any of us can imagine, being horribly tortured 4 years ago and kept in prison ever since. I don't know why your plight was not brought to our attention sooner. I hope and pray that you will not have to suffer more. I also pray that these atrocities will be stopped. The only way to stop them is if the consciousness level is raised on the planet, and specifically the countries where these horrific, draconian laws are in place. If the people of Iran en masse have their consciousness raised so that they will simply not tolerate this behavior, because they KNOW within their hearts and souls that this is NOT what GOD wants, no matter what they have been programmed to believe, then things WILL change. Imagine a world where all know that what God wants from us is compassion, empathy, mercy, and LOVE. These are the qualities that should be required in order to have power over what happens to others. Love forever to you, Dear Sakineh

Submitted by eliza (not verified) on
THOU SHALT NOT KILL....I DONT CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS WHOEVER PARTICIPATE IS THIS SICK KILLING IS DEFINETLY GOING TO HELL!!! AND TO THINK I BELIEVE MEN ARE THE ONES THROWING THE STONES.....GOSH? HOW DO THEY LIVE WITH THEMSELVES...THEY SHOULD PROTECT WOMEN,WOMEN ARE VULNERABLE AND HERE THEY ARE TREATING HER LIKE AN ANIMAL....FORGET THAT ANIMALS ARE TREATED BETTER THAN THAT!!!!! HOW IS IT THAT THESE MEN SLEEP AT NIGHT OR EVEN CALL THEMSELVES MEN!!!!!!!!!VSICKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!! DO NOT KILL HER!!!! SHE IS A MOTHER FOR GOD SAKES ....A WOMAN WHO AHD TWO CHILDREN!!!!!! THIS IS CRAZYYYY!!!! MAY GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR TWO CHILDREN!!

Submitted by dana (not verified) on
This is so wrong on so many levels!!!Please STOP STONING!!! it's CRUEL, it's UNFAIR and its HEART-BREAKING. I can't even imagine the whole process, this is HORROR!!!! PLEASE STOP STONING!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Stoning of women and men is the most Satanic thing I have ever witnessed. For a country that wants to follow God, or Allah, it seems impossible that they could carry out such an evil, tortuous, and cruel punishment. WAKE UP AND THINK FOR YOURSELF! When the guy next to you says to throw a rock and hurt a woman, say NO. It is just that simple. No country that does this to their women should exist. The men are not men but just blood thirsty devils who have become possessed by Satan in a most radical way. GOD WILL PUNISH YOU IF YOU CONTINUE TO KEEP THIS "TRADITION" GOING.

Submitted by muhammed flaifil (not verified) on
The only solution is for Iran to be invaded and new rules to be made. Thesr Iranians are not muslims, they are kufar.

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