Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Plight of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Today the Iran government magnanimously said they won't stone a woman to death.
They haven't said they won't execute this 43-year old woman. They haven't said they regrect having her flogged, 99 lashes while her then teenaged son watched. They see no problem with convicting her to death in 2007 for a consensual sex act, namely adultery. They just said that it wasn't true that they planned to bury her up to her neck in the ground and stone her to death this weekend.

Don't get me wrong, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani  is not a saint.  The reports that repeatedly refer to her as a widow remind me somewhat of the old joke about thea man who killed his parents and then turned to the judge and said: "take pity on a poor orphan".

She was in a marriage that was, by all accounts, abusive. A man she knew killed her husband and she was deemed to be an accomplice, and they are both serving ten years. But that is not where the death sentence came in.  But she was sentenced to death because three of the five judges deemed that she had committed adultery.

A woman does not need to be perfect to deserve being saved from the horrible fate of being killed by stones carefully measured to ensure they will not kill her too quickly--not because of her involvement in a murder, but because of who she allegedly (in the absence of any real evidence) chose to have sex with.

For each person who comments on this post I will donate $1 to Amnesty Internation, up to a maximum of $50.

Amount raised so far: $5

AM Crenshaw is matching my donations dollar for dollar!

Please also visit:

What you can do:
Send an email
Donate to Amnesty International

See also:
Document - Iran: Fears for prisoners on death row in Iran
Iran stonings are a legal nightmare


Anonymous said...

Is there any form of resistance against the Iranian government from within the Iranian population? Any pressure to reform its laws?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I did not know all that about her. She still does not deserved to be stoned to death.

I did leave a link in my blogpost to this blog post. I hope I am able to send some readers your way.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing short of barbaric.

And yes, Anonymous, the people want change but the religious fanatics running the country shoot and kill, or arrest anyone who objects.

Ava Quinn said...

Many times stoning to death occurs because a woman (and sometimes girls) report being raped. It is then turned around on her and the adultery charge is leveled. And not just in Iran.

Just another example of how many countries violently execute their belief in the inferiority of women. It's right up there with FGM and bride burning.

Amnesty International is a great cause, Emily. Great job supporting them!

Linda Mooney said...

It reminds me of the Salem witch trials, where anyone accused of being a witch, regardless of any incriminating details, was automatically put to trial. And it then became the prosecutor's job to invent evidence to support the claim.

I'm linking to this post to help bring in more respondents.

Good luck, Emily!

Bernita said...

This is worse than barbarism.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for both bringing my attention to this, and for your donation. I'll be dropping by AI to donate as well.

Kelly S. Bishop said...

This is so sad. I'm amazed the 99 lashes didn't kill her.

Anonymous said...

Incredible, that at the dawn of the twenty-first century, such large pockets of our planet, would continue to harbour such antediluvian beliefs.

Mspotter27 said...

When the US was first trying to justify the Gulf War, many instances of such barbaric practices filled the airwaves. Unfortunately the incidents still continue without ample press coverage. Amnesty International fights for human rights in all countries, not just where it is political needed to sway public opinion.

Kudos to you for bringing a woman's plight again to public attention.