Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sakineh Ashtiani Update: Iranian Supreme Court Delays Review of Her Case

Apologies to those who did not get the FULL post of this previous title. Blogger is toying with me cruelly today so I'm making this a brand new post...

Mission Free Iran reports that Sakineh Ashtiani's case review by the Iranian Supreme Court has been delayed another 20 days. They were originally supposed to rule on her death sentence by stoning yesterday, July 21. A cynical person might say that they wanted to wait longer, so the publicity over Sakineh's case would die down. Many feel that Sakineh could still be hanged for the adultery her attorney says she did not commit and which wasn't witnessed by four men or eight women (since a woman's testimony only counts for half that of a man in Islamic law) or any combination thereof. Oh, and don't forget that she already got the 99+ lashes proscribed by the Qu'ran for the adultery she didn't commit. A prosecutor in the Iranian province of Eastern Azerbaijan has recently called for her execution by hanging.

You can send letters to object to her execution (by any means) using the form letter and email addresses here with Mission Free Iran or here with Amnesty International. Amnesty's letter also addresses the case of Kurdish dissident Zeynab Jalalian, who is also imprisoned in the dreaded Evin Prison in Tehran.

Mission Free Iran has declared July 24 International Free Sakineh Ashtiani Day.

I can find little information about the current legal status of the appeals to the sentence of stoning for Azar Begham, age 19, sentenced at 15; and Maryam Baagherzaade, age 25, who is currently pregnant.

From The International Committee Against Execution blog site, there is the following information about their cases:

Azar Bagheri is nineteen years old. She was arrested, convicted of having had sex out of the wedlock, and sentenced to death by stoning when she was only fifteen. She has spent the past four years of her life in the company of the ultimate nightmare: be stoned to death. During this time Azar has been subjected to mock stoning twice, that is, she has been buried up to her chest, ready for the stones to be thrown at her, and then told that she must either cooperate or face this! Azar was 14 when she was forced into an unwanted marriage. Later her husband pressed charges against her, claiming she did not love him and had a relationship with another man.
Maryam Baagherzaade, 25 years of age, also sentenced to death by stoning. Maryam has been in jail for 4 years now. She got pregnant following a short leave from prison. The Islamic regime intends to hang or stone this woman to death. Usually the pregnant women have their babies before being killed.
You can sign an international petition calling on Iran to abolish stoning as an execution by signing here. Currently, there are only 883 signatures.
You can read about the sad cases of 8 Iranian Death Row inmates in this week's Newsweek Magazine.

Zeynab Jalalian and Mohammed Reza Haddadi

© Bright Nepenthe, 2010

© Bright Nepenthe, 2010

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