In two weeks’ time, on July 11, we remember the anniversary of Maryam Ayubi’s stoning. And these days, we endeavour to save Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani from stoning. Maryam was —like Sakine— a mother of two children.
Maryam’s kids know that when their mother, who was imprisoned in Evin at the time, heard that she would be stoned, she passed out in fear. She was transported on a stretcher in order to carry out the act of stoning. That was in 2001. Maryam’s children now live in Tehran with nightmares that do not leave them in peace…
As the chairperson of the International Committee Against Execution, I have listened to kids whose mothers have been stoned during the past 31 years of Islamic fascist reign. One of them was a man from Kerman. He called me on my mobile and said, “If you know any court in the world which would accept my indictment let me know!” In response to my question of “What indictment?” he replied, “My mother was stoned in those early years of Islamic Republic reign.”
I was shaken by hearing the horrendous tale of this 43 year old man, who at the time was only a kid. He said his mother was an outspoken critique of the regime and especially Khomeini from day one. She was a teacher and had spoken against the regime and authorities at work. “One day when we were all having lunch, they stormed in and took my mother with them… it all happened so quickly. It didn’t even take two weeks when, one day, they announced in the town ‘come and witness a women being stoned.’ That woman was my mother.”
He said that with fear and in a state of shock, he went and from a distance witnessed his mother being stoned to death …he believes though that his mother was still alive when buried. This man has sent me his indictment against the savage thuggery of this anti-human, fascist regime, to be introduced to an international court.
I challenge this regime! As a women’s rights activist, as the chairperson of a committee against stoning who has accompanied numerous families in their unequal battle against stoning verdicts; as a person who constantly hears the echo of the voices of children whose mothers were stoned; and today as a person who struggles to save Sakine’s life: On behalf of myself, and hundreds of women and men who have been stoned in Iran, I announce to the whole world indictment of this regime.
Stoning is barbaric and medieval. Stoning is a purely political issue, and I have never taken the mutterings of the supporters of reform and a mild interpretation of the Quraan seriously. To suppress the people, to strengthen its bloody foundations, this regime needed stoning, and with complete disregard of even its own unjustified and medieval “Code of Islamic Punishment,” it would decide to stone someone, and it would hunt its prey this way. If there was unrest, if there was a strike or protest in a city, if a region did not submit to the regime, they dug a hole, buried a woman to the waistline, and tortured her to death so others learned a lesson. This has been the function of stoning, and muttering to the regime for a better interpretation of the laws, or discovering holes in the laws, has never, ever been and is not the answer.
In my speeches against stoning, I always say that when I heard, for the first time, of an 18 year old girl who was stoned, I told to myself: “Mina – wait until the world knows of this pain, of this suffering, of such an ugly wound on its body. Wheels will stand still, clocks will stop, until the world responds accordingly to this violent attack against itself.” Thirty-one years past that moment, the world patiently – and of course with the assistance of the herd of cultural relativists and intellectuals and the “feminists” who are too important for these petite “problems” – carried on with its life, and western governments rolled out red carpets for these murderers, shut their eyes to these atrocities, and went on concluding their deals with this misogynist, fascist regime.
I condemn a world which, in the 21st century and with total endurance, swallowed hundreds of stonings and pretended that nothing had happened. I condemn international institutions and organisations that kept silent about this catastrophe. I condemn the European Union and the European Council which a few days ago discussed prohibition of burqa in Europe and its contradiction to human rights of the “Muslim woman,” yet in 31 years has not said a word about stoning and its contradiction to human rights and the rights of women.
It’s an upside down world.
Thanks to Iranian people’s struggle, thanks to a revolution against the Islamic regime, three decades of silence by international institutions and organisations is breaking. We should not only rise united and together and act against stoning of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, but demand prosecution of the Islamic Republic’s leaders for stoning of hundreds of women and men, a demand which should echo ever stronger and be realized by our united efforts.
June 27th 2010