To all those working to save the life of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani life worldwide:
Not just Sakine but the whole humanity needs your endeavors!
How magnificent it is to see hundreds of thousands of people across the world have their heart set on the fate of a woman languishing in a prison in Iran. How delightful it is to see that within the short span of only three weeks Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani, an unknown woman, has become one the most famous women in the world with a renewed glimmer hope in her heart – all thanks to the endeavors of the innumerable people who represented humanity in this matter.
Here I would like to, firstly, thank each and every one of you on behalf of the International Committee against Stoning and the International Committee against Execution for your invaluable efforts and, secondly, touch upon a few points regarding the significance of your magnificent work and its achievements.
1- Sakine was saved from being stoned to death thanks to a global effort triggered off by her children. I hope it will continue until Sakine is released from prison.
2- International pressure on the Islamic Republic has already forced it into caution as far as the execution of stoning and hanging sentences is concerned. Although it needs murder, in general, and the death penalty, in particular, as essential prerequisites for its survival, efforts such as yours do limit the quantity of its crimes.
3- The regime has been considerably more disgraced and despised. We have been trying our utmost for the past three decades to relate to the people of the world what it is doing to the people in Iran, and today, more than ever, the world sympathize with them and their struggles to get rid of it. This is extremely valuable and helpful as far as the Iranian people are concerned.
4- Thanks to your efforts the regime has been extensively exposed. That parameter has made it harder for the governments that had been on its side all along, actively as well as passively with their silence about its crimes, to carry out their wheeling and dealing. The latter has a direct, positive bearing on the struggles of the Iranian people.
5- The total abolition of capital punishment is one of the most vital demands of the people in Iran. Since its inception in February 1979, the Islamist regime has summarily tried about one hundred thousand loved ones of ours in a fashion that no honorable person can possibly call “trial” and then executed them – by firing squad, hanging and stoning – for political opposition, for being free thinkers, for believing in other faiths, for atheism, apostasy, heresy, adultery, and so on, and so forth. Execution is a central pillar of this regime, and fighting execution is therefore a central pillar of the people’s struggle against it. By raising the banner of the abolition of stoning and execution in the past few weeks you rose up, indeed, in defense of this humanist demand of the people of Iran.
6- Most importantly, vast networks of activists were formed as a result of your work. One can hope that in future they will stand up to each case of stoning or execution more strongly and proficiently and that by doing so they will help the Iranian people more effectively in their on-going humane struggle to rid themselves of this regime of religious savagery. I assure you that you have strengthened the hope and the possibility of this tremendous task for the people in Iran as well as around the world. You took this totally humane struggle aimed at the overthrowing this regime and building a free, equal and humane society in its place a great step forward. So treasure the networks you created and strengthen them ever more!
I shake the hand of each and every one you and hope that your struggles increasingly grow in strength and organization so that they can play an ever more effective role alongside those of the oppressed people of Iran.
International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution
July 19, 2010