Worldwide protest against woman’s death sentence by stoning


Laura Dixon

Protesters will take to the streets of dozens of cities tomorrow calling for a woman sentenced to die by stoning in Iran to be saved.

The International Committee against Stoning and Execution (ICAS) has designated tmorrow “International Sakineh Mohamadi Ashtiani Day”, and is planning worldwide protests against her sentence.

Ms Ashtiani, a mother of two, was sentenced to death by stoning after she was accused of adultery. After her children raised the alarm of her imminent stoning, a huge international campaign emerged calling for her to be saved. An open letter of protest to the Iranian Government, published in The Times, was signed by the former US secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the Nobel Peace laureate José Ramos-Horta, and the former foreign secretary David Miliband.

ICAS said that it was vital to keep up the pressure on the Iranian authorities. Although the Iranian Embassy in London said that Ms Ashtiani would not be executed by stoning, there are still fears that she could be be executed by another method. “We believe she is still in danger and is not in the clear until we hear she is out of prison,” Ahmad Fatemi begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, from ICAS, said.

Protests are planned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Georgia, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the US. Five protests wil take place in Britain: in Birmingham, Chichester, London, Egham, Surrey, and Richmond. Mock stonings will take place at some of the events to highlight the cause.

Mohammed Mostafaei, Ms Ashtiani’s lawyer, was this week summoned to talk to prosecutors at Evin prison in Tehran. He told The Times this week that it was “very unusual” to be summoned there, and that he feared he could be arrested. He was intending to meet them tomorrow morning.

Leave a Reply