UPDATE NO. 2: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani still at risk of being executed; young son is now threatened

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

UPDATE NO. 2: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani still at risk of being executed; young son is now threatened 

Since we issued our first update on Sakineh Mohammadi Astiani’s case last Friday July 9, the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women has received new information that she is still facing the imminent threat of being executed.  We also received the news that her young son, Sajjad Qaderzadeh, who publicly expressed his concern on the plight of his mother has been summoned by the Iranian authorities for some questioning about his activities. 

We urge you to continue and step up your support of Sakineh’s case by writing to the Iranian authorities citing the demands below.

After the worldwide public outcry in recent weeks on the sentencing to death by stoning of Sakineh, officials in Tabriz where she is being held in prison, asked the head of Iran’s judiciary to agree that her sentence of stoning to death be converted to execution by hanging. The Iranian authorities issued a statement through its Embassy in London on 8 July that “Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani would not be executed by stoning" but made no mention of other possible means of execution.

On 10 July, the head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights said that her case would be reviewed, although he affirmed that Iranian law permits execution by stoning.

On 11 July, the head of the provincial judiciary in East Azerbaijan, Malek Ezhder Sharifi, said that the stoning sentence was still in place and could be implemented at any time by decision of the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani. Malek Ezhder Sharifi also said that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani had been sentenced to death in connection with the murder of her husband but this has been disputed by one of her lawyers, who says that she was pardoned by the dead man’s family but was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment as an ‘accessory’ to the crime.

On 14 July Sajjad Qaderzadeh, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, was summoned to Tabriz’s Central Prison, and is believed to have been questioned by Ministry of Intelligence officials.  We are concerned that he may have been threatened, so he would not give further interviews about his mother’s case following his widely-covered interview with international media.

Action Needed

We urge you to continue and step up your support of Sakineh’s case by writing to the Iranian authorities in any language citing the following demands:

  1. Formally reverse the death sentence imposed on Ms. Ashtiani whether by stoning or other forms of punishment.

  2. Release Ms. Ashtiani from prison immediately.

  3. Enact legislation that bans stoning as a punishment either by civil or any other courts in Iran and would not permit the use of other forms of the death penalty or flogging or imprisonment for those convicted of “adultery” or other crimes.

  4. Commit to end death penalty in Iran.

  5. End the criminalization of consensual sexual relations.

  6. Ensure Ms. Ashtiani’s son’s security by guaranteeing his right not to be harassed and upholding his right to express his concerns regarding the plight of his mother and to represent her case to the public.


Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info_leader@leader.ir;
Via website: (English) 
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St.Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri,Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Via website:
(1st starred box: your given name; 2nd starred box: your family name; 3rd: your email address)
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

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
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email: (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

1 Amnesty International (Index: MDE 13/077/2010 15 July 2010)

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