66 thoughts on “Urgent petition to save Sakineh

  1. For more on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, please see this website:

    For a fairly well made film on this matter, please see “The Stoning of Soraya M.” from 2008. It is based on Freidoune Sahebjam’s novel first published in the early 1990’s with the title “La Femme Lapidée” and a few years later under the title “The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story”.

    The book and the film are not just about the life and death of Soraya Manutchehri, but also about the sadly necessary moral courage that can take (but unjustly so often does not take) so many forms. Irshad Manji aptly promoted the film and I encourage anyone not familiar with it to check out (if not join) her Moral Courage Project (based at NYU but open to anyone with moral concern and sentiments of critical moral thinking if not action). With a little googling you can find relevant links (and paths to so much more…).

  2. More recent news pieces (read very critically!)

    The Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani case: another test of Iran’s extremely flawed justice system

    Woman sentenced to death by stoning confesses ‘sin of adultery’ to Iran TV

    Iran charges two German journalists with spying over Ashtiani case

  3. I have been thinking about Haleh Esfandiari’s ‘The Women’s Movement’ written for the ‘Iran Primer’. It recounts some history of the women’s movement in Iran. (You can easily find a link to the full text version in one of my comments above.)

    I plan to read up more on the Women’s Organization of Iran, and the more recent Washington DC think-tanks with which Esfandiari associates.

    In any case, her book titled, “My Prison, My Home” seems sadly well worth reading. Here is a link to one piece on it:

    Haleh Esfandiari: I would not let them break me: Accused by Iran of aiding a US plot, this grandmother was flung into Evin jail. She tells her story in My Prison, My Home

    In her piece linked in the comment above titled, “The Women’s Movement”, she attributes significant progress to, or during, Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi’s dictatorial reign. I suppose progress is progress, however mixed it may be. Nonetheless, I do not think we should forget some striking details about who greatly empowered Reza Pahlavi in 1953. Perhaps everyone knows about this, though semester after semester none of my students do.

    So right up through WWII, Britain roughly controlled and/or owned Iran’s oil in the traditionally unjust colonial way. The details are more complicated, but around/by 1951, the Iranians (quite understandably) wanted to nationalize their oil industry with wide popular and governmental support. By 1953, they had a democratically elected, secular, and constitutional regime with genuine wide popular support for both Mohammad Mosaddegh, the elected Prime Minister, and his plans to go ahead with nationalizing their oil. Of course, Britain did not like this. Churchill could not persuade Truman to do something about it. However, Eisenhower was more than happy to oblige. So in 1953, MI6 and the CIA overthrew the legitimate and arguably quite progressive and in many ways good Iranian government, Mosaddegh in particular, and basically replaced him with Pahlavi as a dictator who would handle their oil in ways much more beneficial to the U.S. and Britain. This coup also set the stage for the CIA overthrowing the democratically elected President of Guatemala in 1954 to protect U.S. government conflicts of interest in the United Fruit Company, and to impose typical double standards against fairly or potentially good socialist regimes – very roughly, the U.S. usually favors them when they support U.S. big business interests, and the U.S. usually portrays them as dangerous and squashes them in one way or another when they show promise of success in their own right. One of the best books on the matter is Nick Cullather’s “Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954”

    Just some relevant history to keep in mind regarding what led up to the current situation in Iran (and Iraq – there is much more to it, including details of the Iran – Iraq war), and some details that Esfandiari seems to omit in her otherwise important seeming piece on “The Women’s Movement” in the Iran Primer (linked above).

    If anyone has a better or different perspective, please do share it and/or correct it me.

  4. If news reports are correct, two of the seven U.N. member states that have not ratified the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) are Iran and the United States.

    Here are two pieces of writing on it that might be well worth your time (for various reasons):

    first, Senate Revisits the ‘Women’s Treaty’, by Amy Lieberman

    second, The Case against the U.N. Women’s Treaty by (turn-coat?) Christina Hoff Sommers

    Apart from the more obviously important issues, was/is it inappropriate for me to include a parenthetical “turn-coat” before Christina Hoff Sommers’ name? Does justice/morality/ethics require me to list her name as author just as I list other names as authors? Whether justice/morality/ethics does so or not, what other words might readers use to describe her? Any thoughts to share on this or related matters?

  5. What is happening to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (as an individual and as representative of others in comparable situations)?

    I do not think you should trust the following news piece, which is one of the few relevant pieces published recently:

    US Complicit in Human Rights Abuses, by Herbert I. London


    Although that piece of writing is dated 11/29/10, London has apparently published several variations of it in recent weeks. In addition, it contains several errors and appears poorly written in various ways. For instance, it incorrectly states that Iran is on the “United Nations Committee for Women’s Rights”. However, there currently seems to be no such committee. Here is one list of U.N. entities on gender and women’s issues:


    U.N. Women seems to have superseded/consolidated many if not most of them. There is also the Commission on the Status of Women (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/), for instance, though Iran is not one of the 45 member states serving on that commission.

    In addition, London’s remarks about Susan Rice (and “feminists”) are simply inaccurate (as well as other negative things). What do readers think of his similar remarks about Obama?

    Still, London seems to be one of the few people publishing pieces keeping attention on this matter. Interested readers might want to check out my comments above (or better yet, help out with additional/better comments).

  6. Iran executes woman accused of murdering lover’s wife (12/01/10)

    “Activists in Iran widely suspect that Jahed was forced to confess to the stabbing. Karim Lahidji, the president of the Iranian League for Human Rights, described her as ‘a victim of a misogynous society’ and said: ‘Shahla Jahed has never had a fair trial in Iran and has always insisted that she is innocent. Although Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case is about adultery, her case is similar to that of Shahla Jahed because both are victims of the flaws of the Iranian judicial system.'”

    Iran urged to halt execution of footballer’s wife

    “‘There are strong grounds to believe that Shahla Jahed did not receive a fair trial, and may have been coerced into making a ‘confession’ during months of detention in solitary confinement. She retracted that confession at her trial but the court chose to accept it as evidence against her,’ said Malcolm Smart.”

    Former Iran football player’s mistress hanged

  7. I somehow missed the first piece linked below about the second piece linked below. Interested readers should check them out if they do not know about them.

    “Iran’s top human-rights official gave a robust defense of his country’s right to engage in the stoning of criminals and imprison lawyers viewed as threatening the stability of the Islamic Republic, as a United Nations committee censured Tehran for what it said was an accelerating crackdown on its opponents.”… from:

    Iran Rights Envoy Assails U.N. Censure (11/19/10)

    …I think about:
    U.N. Committee Slams Iran Over Human Rights Record (11/18/10)

  8. The tragedy of honour killings
    Graphic: Anatomy of a stoning
    ‘Anatomy of a stoning’ graphic garners international attention
    Interrested readers might also want to read my comments numbered 3, 5, 6, and 8 above

  9. Stoning rooted in tribal honour code


    Despite the remarks about western civilization in the piece linked above, it seems the writer may need a bit more care regarding double standards and ethnocentric bias/ignorance. With Uma Narayan’s excellent work in mind, for instance, it seems a critical reading maybe should raise some concerns about the attributions of stoning to culture and to honor – due to insufficient discussion of comparable violence and killings in other places, such as the gang violence/killings in the U.S. that are based on tragically distorted conceptions of honor, and the various forms of capital punishment in the different states.

    Contrary to alleged received wisdom, one thing we need in several U.S. cities is many more immigrants (and much higher annual immigration rates) who bring with them different ideas/lives/ways of thinking/living that very often include, among many other things, much more desirable conceptions of honor (than the conceptions found among the members of many lethal gangs in U.S. cities).

    (Also, even the qualified remark about, “the overwhelmingly Muslim component of the crime” strikes me as possibly very irresponsible as contributing to a misleading and harmful stereotype. I wish more people would read Irshad Manji, for instance.)

    – David Slutsky

  10. Press Groups Protest Against Arrest of German Journalists in Iran


    ‘Torture Is Forbidden’ [uh, my approach to ethics/justice leaves me speechless here, for the moment]


    Iran authorities chop off man’s hand


  11. Former German presidents urge Iran to release 2 detained German journalists


    “But, Nafisi pointed out, when females lost so many rights, many women did not lose hope, including female judges who were deemed “too weak-minded” to judge.”

    “The (judges) became advocates, and lawyers, for women’s rights and children’s rights,” Nafisi said, “and that is the aspect of Iran that you should hear – and that you don’t hear about.

    “The fact that Iranian women are so present today, they are so dynamic today, is because they didn’t give up.” …from:

    Out of Iran, and inspired


    Iranian Opposition Leader’s Wife Decries Violence Against Women


    Two walls, one creation


  12. German journalists held in Iran ‘are not spies’

    Exiled Iranian Lawyer Criticizes Regime


    Iran: surge in cases of husband murder


    Iranian Cleric: Female Athletes Should Not Compete Abroad


    “They want to uproot this young plant before it grows.”

    ‘UN rights papers ignores cultures’


  13. Iranian Rights Abuses Condemned


    “The son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Azeri Iranian woman whose stoning sentence triggered an international outcry, was arrested by the Iranian authorities and remains in prison. Ms. Ashtiani’s lawyer was also arrested, as were two German journalists who were investigating her case.”

    Iran’s Divorce Rate Stirs Fears of Society in Crisis


    Iran president, clerics battle over women’s sports


  14. Free Sakineh

    “Ashtiani’s case has also reopened the factional divisions that had split the Islamic Republic’s political establishment after Iran’s controversial presidential elections in 2009. On the one side, keen Iran-watchers note, are the pragmatists, concerned about restoring Iran’s image abroad and ready to drop or commute Ashtiani’s sentences; on the other are the ideological conservatives in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s camp, convinced that the alleged adulteress must be made an example of, and that caving to foreign pressure would be an unforgivable sign of weakness.”


    Iran considers release of stoning case reporters


    Iran hints at possible release of German journalists


    Controlling Iran’s Universities
    “The Iranian government is stifling what should be the nation’s bastions of communication and circulation of ideas –- its universities.”


    The Growing Influence of Iran on Latin America’s ‘New Left’ Governments


  15. Female justice and the Iranian male
    “The plight of Sakineh Mohammed Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced two years ago to death by stoning, provoked such a firestorm of international outrage that her stoning was deferred. It is possible that she will be executed in some other way, or even stoned when attention dies down, but the very idea that state-sanctioned stoning still exists as a form of capital punishment became the theme of many an opinion piece in the West.

    My own column on honour killing December 1, “The shame of honour killings,” led with an account of the Ashtiani case. In response, I had an e-mail from an Iranian man – “Reza” – interested in discussing the role of women in the West versus the way women are perceived in Iran. This led to the short exchange that follows, which I have compressed and lightly edited for purposes of clarity.”…


    The shame of honour killings


  16. Women in Shroud at the Movies That Matter festival
    “While watching Women in Shroud at the Movies That Matter festival, an initiative of Amnesty International, in the Netherlands, Sridhar Rangayan found himself consoling a woman in tears. This documentary follows activists’ struggle to end the brutal practice of execution by stoning in Iran. Moved by the experience, Rangayan — one of the jury members at the festival — thought of bringing the films that were shown at the festival under the ‘Matter of Act’ category to India. All the 10 films in this section, highlights the issues related to human rights violations as well as its defenders.”


    Sundance Documentary Program: Women in Shroud


  17. Ashtiani recounts murder on Press TV
    “Contrary to a vast publicity campaign by Western media that confessed murderer Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been released, a team of broadcast production team with the Iran-based Press TV has arranged with Iran’s judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual recount of the crime at the murder scene.”


    Iranian TV: Woman who faced stoning recounts husband’s murder
    “Human rights group backs off earlier claim that she and son were freed”




  18. Iran stoning: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani ‘confession’ condemned
    “TV ‘confession’ from Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning makes a mockery of legal system, say campaigners”


    Reports of latest Ashtiani TV ‘confession’ in Iran condemned


    French philosopher doubts Iranian stoning woman ‘confession’


    Iran Cannot Hide the Truth Behind Sakineh


  19. Iran: The West takes advantage of stoning for propaganda


    Iran summons Britain’s envoy over students protests, envoy’s remarks


    Iran criticises ‘harsh’ police tactics at tuition fees protests in UK


  20. A false equivalence


    Iran protests Ottawa teen’s death


    Iran’s outrage distasteful ‘publicity stunt’


    Separating Fact From Fiction in Sakineh’s Case


  21. Stoning mum Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani ‘abused for years’

    “The lawyer for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has revealed how his client was abused, beaten and sold for sex by her drug-addicted husband.”


    Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning ‘was sold for sex to fund her husband’s drug addiction’

    “An Iranian widow sentenced to death by stoning for adultery suffered years of abuse at the hands of her drug addict husband, her lawyer said today.

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was allegedly beaten and sold for sex by Ebrahim Ghaderzade, who she is accused of killing.

    Her lawyer Mohammed Mostafaei said that he feared her life was now in imminent danger.”


  22. Toto, We’re Not in Cannes Anymore


    For more on this, see my comments above numbered 18, 19, and 3.

    For a bit more, see:
    The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story by Freidoune Sahebjam


    The Stoning of Soraya M.

    – David Slutsky

  23. Victim’s sickening soap opera
    – [Is this part in quotations true?]
    “Iranians living in Iran have not seen Ashtiani’s latest enforced performance. This “documentary” has been shown on a satellite TV channel strictly for foreign audiences. This, surely, is a tacit admission that the domestic audience would not swallow such an obvious charade.”


    Germany’s Hostages in Iran, and “Critical Dialogue” with the Mullahs


  24. Does Sakineh stand a chance (given this recent news which is tragically notable itself)?

    Iran jails director Jafar Panahi and stops him making films for 20 years-
    Acclaimed film-maker who supported opposition green movement also banned from foreign travel or speaking to media

    “The acclaimed Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison today, and banned from directing and producing films for the next 20 years, his lawyer said.

    Panahi, an outspoken supporter of Iran’s opposition green movement, was convicted of colluding in gathering and making propaganda against the regime, Farideh Gheyrat told the Iranian state news agency, ISNA.

    “He is therefore sentenced to six years in prison and also he is banned for 20 years from making any films, writing any scripts, travelling abroad and also giving any interviews to the media including foreign and domestic news organisations,” she said.


    Iran Jails Leading Filmmaker for 6 Years


    Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi gets six-year sentence


  25. Elie Wiesel: free Gilad Shalit, Liu Xiaobo and Sakineh Ashtiani





    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani


  26. Why not more political pressure? Why not more bargaining, compromise, and/or attempts at cooperation?

    (…of course, not the same thing… but I keeping remembering… some point in every semester provoking my students to ask, “Where was the federal government during the civil rights movement? Why wasn’t the national guard, for instance, protecting the peaceful marchers holding hands and singing peace songs when racist police officers were beating, arresting, and/or killing them? Look into writings about and by Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle constantly debating (and virtually always deciding against for apt strategic reasons) calling out JFK’s arguably immoral inaction in his [King’s] wonderful speeches?

    Anyway, several news pieces on a U.N. General Assembly Resolution condemning Iran and Human Rights Violations. But the protests listed below (or in a separate comment) are even better. But first:

    UN General Assembly Resolution on Iran’s Human Rights Violations


    General Assembly Adopts 52 Resolutions, 6 Decisions Recommended by Third Committee on Broad Range of Human Rights, Social, Cultural Issues


    Iran’s human rights record condemned by United Nations

    Iran’s attacks on human rights lawyers


    “Starting this week, several of Iran’s most prominent women’s rights activists, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, will stage a sit-in in front of the U.N. Human Rights Council offices in Geneva, Switzerland, to protest Iran’s imprisonment of their colleague Nasrin Sotoudeh….”
    – this piece is really worth reading through

    Iranian women activists begin sit in for their jailed colleague in Iran


  27. UN shows ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s rights record


    “The UN General Assembly on Tuesday approved a resolution expressing “deep concern” over “recurring” human rights violations in Iran, where authorities have been targeting rights lawyers in their ongoing crackdown on dissent.

    The resolution, approved 78-45 with 59 abstentions, follows a December 13 letter from more than 80 leading world figures urging Iran to free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to death by stoning in a case that has attracted global attention.”

    In case you missed it, interested readers might want to check out comment #41 and the last two links in comment #43

  28. Keep the pressure up… keep the conversations going… don’t let the images slip too far away…

    Iranian activists end their protest in Geneva


    The Faces of Iran’s Imprisoned Journalists


    ‘A Crime to Make a Movie’: Iranian Director Gets Jail


  29. Yikes, not another case of media attention and “shaming” tactics backfiring!!! No. No, no, no.

    Regime official blasts international community for condemning mullahs’ rights violations

    “An Iranian regime official reacted to the international community’s condemnations of the regime’s abhorrent human rights record on Thursday and said, “The West carried out an extensive propaganda about human rights violations in Iran and was able to create conditions in which the Islamic Republic was cornered.”

    “The official, Moussavi, who runs Javan daily affiliated with the faction of the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, called for more cruel punishments to counter what he described as “western propaganda.”

    “We issue the initial verdict and announce it. But then we wait so long [for implementation] and problems arise. … We paid enormous political and publicity costs with regards to Sakineh Ashtiani. If we had implemented the verdict speedily, we wouldn’t have witnessed such media blackmail.”


    No. No, no, no…

    I provide links to some relevant discussion here:


  30. US must resume the protection of Ashraf residents – Maryam Rajavi [President-elect of the Iranian Resistance].

    “The uprisings in 2009, however, completely changed the nature of the debate as it confirmed that the ruling regime in Iran has entered its final phase.

    “The uprisings showed the real coordinates of Iranian society today. They are:

    1. The fundamental weakness of the ruling regime, which has fragmented;
    2. A lack of social base for the mullahs;
    3. The emergence of a generation of young men and women who will stop at nothing short of achieving freedom and democracy;
    4. The Iranian society’s overwhelming support for the primary slogan and demand of the organized resistance: change in the entire regime.

    “In recent months, despite a ruthless suppression, the mullahs have failed to extinguish the uprisings and contained their internal schisms. The nationwide protests by students on December 7 and the sudden dismissal of the Foreign Minister and the President’s first deputy in recent days again demonstrated this fact reality.”

    “Now, what should one do with a regime which has entered its final phase?

    – The first option is engagement and more concessions in the hopes that it would abandon building nuclear weapons;
    – The second option is firmness and standing with the Iranian people’s resistance which seeks regime change.

    “The US policy of engagement in the past two years has unfortunately followed the first option. It has done serious harm to the Iranian people’s movement and helped keeping the regime on its feet.”…


  31. A bank that proudly does business in Iran

    “The international bank HSBC says it is pulling an ad that juxtaposes a plug for the bank’s ability to find “potential in unexpected places” with a factoid about Iran: “Only 4% of American films are made by women. In Iran it’s 25%.”

    “A reader e-mailed me about the ad last week. The implication that Iranian women — who are tortured, beaten, murdered and imprisoned for exercising rights of free speech — are better situated than their American counterparts was simply preposterous.” … …

    “…. But not HSBC. No, sir. Its execs are certain all is in order. So while other banks and businesses are pulling out of Iran, HSBC’s policy “remains the same.” What’s more, it doesn’t make “value judgments.” But by continuing to do business with a murderous regime, the bank certainly is displaying its corporate values.”


    -David Slutsky

  32. Do the course of events reported in the news reports below (in contrast to the news reports you can find in comments #46 and #48 above) give any indication of conditions and/or requirements for minimal progress in Iran?

    Foreign Ministry Summons Iran’s Ambassador Over Detained Bild Journalists


    Berlin summons Iran envoy as access to reporters denied


    Iran: Family Visit Approved For Detained Germans


    German arrestees in Iran meet families


  33. Leading cleric defies Tehran on confessions

    “In a rare public challenge to the Iranian regime, the country’s highest-ranking cleric has warned that prisoners’ confessions are invalid, signalling a deepening gulf between the political establishment in Tehran and clerical establishment in the holy city of Qom.”

    “Confessions of prisoners have no validity and if a judge uses confessions for issuing verdicts that judge is no longer qualified,” Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani told students this week, according to domestic websites including Parlemannews, which is run by reformist parliamentarians.”

    “Hundreds of politicians, journalists, university students and human rights activists have been in jail since disputed elections in June 2009. Some have appeared on state television “confessing” their opposition to the regime.

    “Western human rights organisations have condemned the imprisonments and what they say are forced confessions, adding to mounting international pressure on Tehran over its poor human rights record.

    “International outrage has focused on the sentence of stoning to death of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who is charged with adultery. She confessed on Iran state television that she had affairs while married and the regime cited her confession when defending her sentence, although it has hinted it may be commuted to death by hanging.”


    You may need a subscription for the above link to work. Interested readers can find the news story by doing a search for the news story title: “Leading cleric defies Tehran on confessions”

  34. Iran Squelches News On Woman Sentenced To Death

    “An Iranian woman sentenced to death awaits her fate, as an international outcry gains force. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani originally was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Renee Montagne talks about it with Journalist Azadeh Moaveni, a contributing writer for Time magazine.”

    audio clip, NPR Morning Edition, 4 minutes, 13 seconds


  35. Here is another take on the ad reported in comment #49 above…

    A Banking Giant’s Moral Bankruptcy on Iran

    HSBC’s glib ad suggests that the Islamic Republic is hospitable to artists, especially women.

    “Once known as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC wants to be known today as “the world’s local bank.” To convey the message, it plasters airport jetways, city blocks and glossy magazines with colorful, pithy advertisements. From the looks of one such ad, though, HSBC might be more accurately considered “Iran’s useful idiot.”

    “The ad features a photograph of a desert oasis. In the background are some electrical lines, and in the foreground a lone, robed figure stands behind an old-fashioned video camera. Beside the image is text: “Only 4% of American films are made by women. In Iran it’s 25%,” HSBC informs us. “We find potential in the most unexpected places. Do you?”

    “Just like that, the banking behemoth reveals the danger of bubble-gum corporate cosmopolitanism: Every now and then, you might suggest that a murderous theocracy is actually a progressive place.”…


  36. The take on the HSBC ad in the Wall Street journal (previously reported by the Washington Post and covered above in comment #49) appears to require a subscription. Below is a link to a version that does not require a subscription:

    A banking giant’s moral bankruptcy on Iran

    “…Just like that, the banking behemoth reveals the danger of bubble-gum corporate cosmopolitanism: Every now and then, you might suggest that a murderous theocracy is actually a progressive place…”


    – David Slutsky

  37. Son of Iranian woman sentenced to death urges clemency


    Son of Iran woman to be stoned wants new sentence


    Readers need to think critically and carefully about the statements of confession and denials of torture in these most recent news stories.

    Critical readers also might want to bear in mind Haleh Esfandiari’s brief but telling remarks (based on extensive knowledge including personal experience) on such confessions and denials of torture. See her interview at the link below (as well as comments numbered 4, 5, 6, and 8 above):

    Case of Sakineh Ashtiani Reflects Iran’s Internal Divisions: Q&A with Haleh Esfandiari


    The statements in the BBC news story linked below do not exactly coincide with statements in several other recent reports on the same story. Cautious readers may well want to read all of these reports/news stories very critically…:

    Iran stoning woman Ashtiani ‘to sue German journalists’


  38. As suggested in my comment above and the links below, caution requires us to read recent claims by Sakineh will many grains of salt. First, the need for caution:

    Iran stoning woman ‘under pressure’: activist

    “The threat by an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning to sue two German reporters shows that she is under great pressure, according to an activist who is also under fire from the woman.” …

    “I think she is being subjected to enormous pressure by the Islamic regime and has said that under pressure,” said Mina Ahadi, an anti-stoning activist based in Germany who warned in November of the imminent execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.” …

    “The deputy editor of Bild am Sonntag said he was “surprised and amazed” at Mohammadi Ashtiani’s remarks about its reporters.”

    “We find it surprising that a woman sentenced to death in Iran could leave prison for a few hours to announce to the Western media that she wants charges against the journalists reporting on her case,” Michael Backhaus said.”…



    And now, a sample of the recent reports:

    Iran stoning woman to sue German journalists


    Leave my case alone, stoning woman tells charged journalists


  39. Several reports on various news wires that Iran might hang Sakineh instead of stoning her. Iran is no stranger to hanging (see the recent case of Shahla Jahed with relevant links in comment #13 above, for instance). Due to statements such as those linked in comment #46 above, I fear that we should refrain from any rejoicing and maintain very cautious optimism (while still hoping for the best, of course).

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani may not face death by stoning, says prosecutor

    “Iranian authorities say it is ‘possible’ original sentence could be dropped but offer no comment on whether she could be hanged”


  40. Thanks for this, David. I’ve been following the case since I first signed the petitions for her. I guess my earlier optimism was premature.

    Unfortunately, premature optimism has now become an excuse for this site’s biased Wednesday moderator to delete my comments. This one will probably disappear before too long. I hope you get to read it before it does. I’m interested in your work.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. However, I won’t be commenting on feministphilosophers anymore. I don’t have time to do the research and type an intelligent response, if my responses are going to keep getting deleted whether they’re offensive or not.

    Good luck with everything. I hope you and Sakineh’s other supporters do manage to save her life.

  41. Iran warns against campaign to free Germans

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says the Iranian judiciary… will not be affected by foreign pressure.”

    He says, “Pressure will have the opposite effect. They had better not politicize the legal issue.”


    Germans urge Iran to free journalists


  42. More potentially false alarms (or reports of good news):

    Iran suspends hanging sentence in stoning case

    Iran has suspended a sentence to hang a woman at the center of a global outcry about a separate stoning sentence, a member of parliament was quoted Monday as saying, but another official suggested the comments were false.


    Iran suspends death penalty of Ashtiani: Top MP


    Iranian woman escapes death penalty


    No change in Ashtiani case, says Iranian judiciary

    “The Iranian judiciary Monday said there have been no changes in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani and denied that her death sentence was suspended, official news agency IRNA reported.

    “In a letter from parliament’s human rights committee head Zohreh Elahian to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, reported earlier Monday by ISNA news agency, she said that because of a plea by Ashtiani’s two children, the death sentence had been suspended.

    “Prosecutor general Gholam-Hossein Mohsen-Ejehi, however, denied Elahian’s claims and said there have been no changes in the case of Ashtiani who is jailed in Tabriz, the capital of Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran.

    “Malek Ejdar-Sharifi, the head of the judiciary office of Azerbaijan, also said the lawmaker’s claim was false.

    “There were doubts from the beginning about why the announcement came from a parliamentary deputy and not the judiciary, and why the letter was not written by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to his Brazilian counterpart.” …


    “…Since the beginning of the New Year, Iran has hanged 47 prisoners, or an average of about one person every eight hours. Iran executes more people per capita than any other country, and in absolute numbers, is second only to China…”


    Iran has hanged 47 people in three weeks, say human rights groups


  43. The life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani remains in the balance


    International Day against Stoning, July 11, 2011


    Fears grow for lawyer of woman in Iran stoning case

    Lawyer still in prison after speaking to foreign media about case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani


    Statements and actions supporting International Day against Stoning


    An Update on Iran Stoning Case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her Lawyer Houtan Kian


    Interested readers might wish to check out especially the comments above numbered 5, 6, 8, 18, 19, 39, 45, 46, and 49

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