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Iran Lifts Stoning Sentence, But May Still Execute Ashtiani For Murder

September 10, 2010
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Immediate, please sign:
Iran: Stop the Execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Please also send automatic letter from HERE

Please sign Stop Stoning! HERE

From Care2
By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

We’ve been following the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to stoning for adultery who has attracted sympathy and outrage worldwide.  After pressure, most lately, from France and the Catholic Church, the Iranian government first commuted the punishment from stoning to hanging, and have now announced that Ashtiani will not be executed for adultery at all.

This is an enormous victory, not least for the 20,000 Care2 members who signed our petition to stop Ashtiani’s execution.  You are all part of a global effort to end human rights abuses like the fate that could have befallen Ashtiani, and you should be very proud.

However, sadly, this saga is not over.  The Iranian government charged Ashtiani with what they claim is her role in the death of her husband, and these murder charges could result in life imprisonment or another death sentence.  It’s unclear at this point what Ashtiani is actually guilty of since the only evidence is a “confession” aired on Iranian state TV, an unreliable source at best.

Certainly, the murder charges seem like an attempt on the part of the Iranian government to move away from the adultery charges, and to instead portray Ashtiani as a killer.  Ashtiani’s lawyers say that she only participated in the confession after being tortured in prison.

On Tuesday, the president of the European Commission described the death sentence as “barbaric beyond words.”  The European Union Parliament also passed a resolution declaring that a punishment like stoning “can never be justified or accepted,”

The number of public figures who have spoken out on Ashtiani’s behalf continues to grow, and if you haven’t signed the petition to save her life, we encourage you to do so.

IMPORTANT NEWS AND ACTIONS
From International Committee Against Stoning

Since I last wrote to you Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has again been flogged 99 times for an unveiled photo mistakenly attributed to her . She has also been threatened with execution, and denied visitation rights. Even, her lawyer’s home (Hatoun Kian) has been ransacked and his computer and documents seized. Court documents pertaining to Ms Ashtiani’s husband’s closed murder case have also gone missing.

Her 22-year-old son Sajjad is extremely concerned that the Iranian authorities are trying to frame Ms Ashtiani for his father’s murder by constructing a ‘new’ murder case to refute the stoning sentence. Unfortunately a number of media outlets have bought into the lie (see for example BBC Sunday Morning Live’s bias here). In fact, the press have been given a copy of the actual court judgment of stoning for adultery at a 30 July press conference in London. Also, even the man who has been found guilty of murdering her husband has not been executed. In Iran, under Diyeh laws, the family of the victim can ask for the death penalty to be revoked. Ms Ashtiani’s son explains why he and his 17 year old sister spared the man’s life in an interview with French writer and philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy.

Despite all the regime’s outrages against Ms Ashtiani, her lawyers and family, on 8 September, a government official had the audacity to deceivingly claim that Ms Ashtiani had not been denied visitation rights, that her televised confession was not made under duress, and that she had not been flogged again. He also went on to say that her execution had been halted when no official documents halting her stoning or execution have been given to her lawyer or family.

Clearly this is yet another one of the regime’s ploys to push back the international campaign in her defence by giving the false impression that Ms Ashtiani is safe.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

On 18 September, we call on citizens everywhere to come out in defence of Ms Ashtiani and against the regime of flogging, stoning and execution. We are also calling for protests during 23-24 September when Ahmadinejad will be addressing the UN General Assembly.

Nothing can and will stop us from defending Sakineh’s precious life and bringing an end to the medieval and barbaric punishments of stoning and execution.

Let’s keep the pressure on.

We look forward to receiving news of your actions and events at actionforsakineh@gmail.com.

Warmest wishes,

Maryam Namazie

PLEASE ACT NOW!

  • 2- Send actions you are organising in your city of residence to actionforsakineh@gmail.com so we can post it on the events page.

If you need help organising an event, see our toolkit on how to organise an action in your city: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-plan-action-day-to-save-sakinehs.html

  • 5- Send Sakineh a postcard telling her you are thinking of her and other prisoners on death row in Tabriz prison. You can address it to:

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Tabriz Prison
Tabriz, Iran

  • 6- Write letters of protest to the Islamic regime of Iran demanding Ashtiani’s release and an end to stonings, floggings and executions. Protest letters can be addressed to the below:

Head of the Judiciary
Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Email: info@dadiran.ir or via website
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Head of the Judiciary in East Azerbaijan Province
Malek-Ashtar Sharifi
Office of the Head of the Judiciary in Tabriz
East Azerbaijan, Iran

Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Iran
Email: via website:  (English)
http://www.leader.ir/langs/fa/index.php?p=letter (Persian)

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com

  • 7- Sign petitions in support of her case if you haven’t already done so. Here are two of them here and here.
  • 8- Write to government officials, heads of state, MEPs and MPs in your country of residence and the UN calling on them to intervene to save her life and to cease recognition of a regime that stones people to death in the 21st century.
  • 9- Donate to the important work of the International Committee Against Stoning, International Committee Against Executions and Iran Solidarity by making your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and sending it to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal. Please earmark your donation.
  • 10- For more information, contact:

Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions, minaahadi@aol.com, 0049 1775692413; http://notonemoreexecution.org/; http://stopstonningnow.com.

Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, iransolidaritynow@gmail.com, 0044 7719166731, Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk; http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/.

Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran, maria.rohaly@gmail.com, www.missionfreeiran.com.

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