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Campaigning must continue to end stoning
SAKINEH Mohammadi Ashtiani could be stoned to death or hanged in Iran within days.
Facing arrest, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, fled to Norway via Turkey, where he was briefly detained. His wife and two relatives were held hostage in Tehran's Evin prison. They have since been released on bail. Non-government organisations campaigned forcefully on their behalf. However, few Muslim or non-Muslim leaders have spoken out against the criminalisation of adultery and its punishment by stoning.
Dr Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary General of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, believes the ancient custom, revived after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, is consistent with Islam. Article 104 of the Iranian Penal Code states: "The stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones." Members of the community, often family and in-laws of the accused, carry out the deed. According to Larijani, international protests are part of a destabilising political campaign orchestrated by Western nations, an argument the UN appears to accept without dispute.
Iran: Shiva Nazar Ahari's will face 3 charges on 4 September
Writing about Shiva Nazar Ahari is more than writing about a human rights activist and fighter. It’s writing about those who take up the mantle of struggle to fight for establishing and consolidating their countrymen’s basic rights, without having a political agenda. Some bear prison and torture, others exile and refuge camps. Still, Shiva Nazar Ahari’s case is a dangerous one and the silence of the media about her is reprehensible, especially as her lawyer says Shiva’s trial date is set for September 4, for charges of moharebeh, war on god, which is punishable by execution.
On the latest developments in her case, her lawyer says: “One of Shiva Nazar Ahari’s three charges is moharebeh. I’m wondering how to defend her in court on that one! In a conversation with my colleagues, I told them that if a few more charges like this are issued [for my clients], I’ll withdraw from all of my cases. Shiva Nazar Ahari’s trial will be held on Sept. 4, and I really have no idea what will happen –what verdict will be issued, based on what line of reasoning. If they are going to sentence her using the same logic with which they charged her, her situation may be dangerous. This is a charge that receives the death penalty.”
Vatican condems sentencing of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican raised the possibility Sunday of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery.
In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican decried stoning as a particularly brutal form of .
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church opposes the death penalty in general.
It is unclear what chances any Vatican bid would have to persuade the Muslim nation to spare the woman's life. Brazil, which has friendly relations with Iran, was rebuffed when it offered her asylum.
'Carla Bruni is a prostitute', says Iranian newspaper
An Iranian newspaper has called Carla Bruni, France's first lady, a "prostitute" after she attacked Iran's plan to stone a woman to death.
Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning)
It may be the oldest form of execution in the world, and it is certainly among the most barbaric.
IRAN: Prosecutor urges tighter checks for women's Islamic dress code
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's prosecutor called on Sunday for tighter checks on women who fail to observe Islamic dress code in public, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Under Iran's Sharia law, imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.
"Unfortunately the law ... which considers violation of the Islamic dress code as a punishable crime, has not been implemented in the country in the past 15 years," said general prosecutor Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei.
"Under the law, violators of public chastity should be punished by being sentenced to up to two months in jail or 74 lashes."
A Statement of Concern Regarding the Televised ‘Confession’ by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women and the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network deplore the staging of a ‘public confession’ on Iranian television by Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who is awaiting execution in Iran by stoning for adultery.
The ‘confession’, done in an interview format, was broadcast on Wednesday 11th August on the '20:30' television program by Seda va Sima, the government broadcasting station. The ‘confession’, showed Sakineh implicating herself in the murder of her husband. However, as we have noted, Sakineh speaks Azeri (a Turkic language) but the interviewer narrated and spoke in Farsi drowning out Sakineh’s voice in her own language.
Iranian State TV Acts as an Arm of the Intelligence Apparatus
(11 August 2010) The Iranian state-controlled radio and television, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), has acted as an arm of intelligence and security agencies implicated in gross human rights violations since the disputed presidential election of June 2009, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
Iran: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 'confesses' to murder on state TV
The Iranian woman whose sentence to death by stoning sparked an international outcry is feared to be facing imminent execution, after she was put on a state-run TV programme last night where she confessed to adultery and involvement in a murder. Speaking shakily in her native Azeri language, which could be heard through a voiceover, told an interviewer that she was an accomplice to the murder of her husband and that she had an extramarital relationship with her husband's cousin. Her lawyer told the Guardian last night that his client, a 43-year-old mother of two, was tortured for two days before the interview was recorded in Tabriz prison, where she has been held for the past four years.
"She was severely beaten up and tortured until she accepted to appear in front of camera. Her 22-year-old son, Sajad and her 17-year-old daughter Saeedeh are completely traumatised by watching this programme," said Houtan Kian.
The Iranian Women’s Movement in the 21st Century
By Leila Mouri*:
Shiva Nazar-Ahari, a journalist and human rights defender who had already spent 9 months in Evin prison, was scheduled to appear in court on May 23, 2010 for her work with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), as well as allegations of acting against national security because of her participation in gatherings on November 4th and December 7th, 2009. A member of the “One Million Signature” campaign for women’s rights, Nazar-Ahari was arrested at her home shortly after Iran’s June 2009 presidential election. She was on $200,000 bail, but her freedom did not last long. In December 2009 she , this time as she was on the way to attend the funeral ceremony of . Despite consistent pressure from Iranian authorities, she had denied all charges brought against her and had paid the price of defiance by spending most of her prison term .