Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sakineh Update: "Authorities give go ahead" for execution

Go here to send a letter to Iranian officials asking for Sakineh's freedom:

The latest from CNN:

Report: Iranian authorities give go-ahead to execute woman
From Mitra Mobasherat, CNN
November 2, 2010 2:57 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- Authorities in Tehran, Iran, have given the go-ahead to execute a woman who initially was sentenced to death by stoning, according to an activist working on her behalf.

However, what method will be used to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is unclear, said Mina Ahadi, spokeswoman for the International Committee Against Stoning. The execution could happen as soon as Wednesday, she said, citing information received from a source in Tabriz, Iran, who is close to Ashtiani's family.

Ashtiani initially was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. The Iranian government later said she was also convicted of murdering her husband, but her lawyer and family dispute that.

A letter from Tehran was delivered to the prison in Tabriz where Ashtiani is being held three days ago, Ahadi said, giving the go-ahead for Ashtiani's execution.

Ashtiani, 43 and a mother of two, drew international attention when she was sentenced to death by stoning. She concedes that she was convicted of adultery, as initially reported, but says she was acquitted of murder. "The man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned, but he is not sentenced to death," she said in August.

The Iranian government's claims that she was convicted of murder are a lie, she told the Guardian newspaper through an intermediary. "They are embarrassed by the international attention on my case, and they are desperately trying to distract attention and confuse the media so that they can kill me in secret."

Ashtiani's son and her attorney are still in jail after being arrested last month, Ahadi said. Also still detained are two German journalists.

"The International Committees against Stoning and Execution call on international bodies and the people of the world to come out in full force against the state-sponsored murder of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani," as well as the release of the others, Ahadi said in a statement.

Before his arrest, Ashtiani's son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, said court officials stole documents and files pertaining to the murder of his father in order to "promote his mother as a murderer." And Ahadi's committee said the murder charges are "fabricated" by the Iranian regime.

In August, Ashtiani appeared on state TV confessing that she knew about a plot to kill her husband but felt she had been misled. Amnesty International condemned the interview.

Ghaderzadeh and attorney Hootan Kian will not be issued an attorney, because the government claims they do not need one, according to Ahadi.

Ashtiani's other lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, is being protected by European diplomats after he fled to Turkey from Iran.

Mostafaei claims that Iranian authorities tried to arrest him without cause.

L’exécution de Sakineh Ashtiani est imminente

I don't think you really need to know French to understand this headline at the Iran Human Rights website (which posts in English, French and Farsi):

L’exécution de Sakineh Ashtiani est imminente

Other coverage:
And here is the full story in English from the Iran Human Rights website:

Sakineh Ashtiani at imminent danger of execution - Authorities confirm arrest of her lawyer

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Iran Human Rights, November 2: According to unconfirmed reports Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43 years old woman sentenced to death by stoning, could be at imminent danger of execution.

Iranian authorities have repeated their murder allegations against Sakineh Ashtiani during the past weeks. According to the daily newspaper Quds, Hassan Ghashghavi and Iranian foreign ministry official, said at a meeting that "Mrs. Sakineh Ashtiani is convicted of adultry and murder of her husband, and the family of the offended have requested (Qesas) retribution". He added:"Iran defends the victim and his family, while the West defends the offender".

On the other hand the Iranian authorities confirmed for the first time that Sakineh Ashtiani’s lawyer (Javid Houtan Kian) is in detention. Spokesman of the Judiciary and Iran’s chief prosecutor Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, said at a press conference yesterday that "the lawyer had three ID cards and his case is in relation with some counter-revolutionary exile groups and is under consideration".

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights expressed his concern about Mrs. Ashtiani’s situation and said:"The allegations by the Iranian authorities regarding Mr. Ashtiani’s murder conviction, and especially their claims about the family of the offended demanding retribution, are fabricated by the regime in order to make her execution more acceptable for the world community". He added:" The offended’s family are also Sakineh’s children, and they started the campaign to save their mother’s life, so how could they demand her execution?". He continued:"The signals sent by the Iranian authorities might indicate that Mrs. Ashtiani is at imminent danger of execution".

Regarding the arrest of Mrs. Ashtiani’s lawyer and son, Amiry-Moghaddam said:" There are no news about Mrs. Ashtiani’s son Sajjad, and her lawyer Javid Houtan Kian. Iranain authorities have for the first time confirmed that the lawyer is under detention, but we don’t know where and under what conditions they are right now".

Regarding the international attention around Mrs. Ashtiani’s case, Amiry-Moghaddam said: "It is thanks to the international pressure that Sakineh Ashtiani wasn’t stoned to death last summer, but unfortunately the attention around her case was temporary and we had earlier warned that once the attention is gone she will be at imminent danger of execution". "Where are all the leaders and the personalitis who spoke about Sakineh Ashtiani few months ago?" He asked.

"We ask the world community, the governments and the civil socity to give urgent attention to her case now. She is at imminent danger of execution and tomorrow could be too late" Amiry-Moghaddam ended.