Press Release 19
Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case review postponed
Final judgment will be made in 20 days
In our last press release we reported that the Supreme Court in Iran would issue a statement on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case on July 21st, 2010. Today we have been informed by our sources in Iran that the Islamic regime has postponed a decision in Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case for another 20 days. According to the sources, all documents of Sakineh’s case have been sent to the 9th division of the Supreme Court.
We believe that Sakineh is still at risk of being executed or even stoned to death. The aim of the Islamic regime of Iran is clear: by pushing back the date of the final verdict they hope to buy time to escape the pressure of the international community. The Islamic regime is waiting for the international news coverage and the pressure to abate to then continue with their criminal activities.
We hope that people worldwide will continue their efforts to save Sakineh from execution, stoning and prison, and we hope that the international media will continue to report on her case. Only with international pressure and news coverage can we save all ‘Sakinehs’ in Iran. The execution and stoning sentences of Sakineh and anyone else in Iranian prisons must be revoked immediately. We demand the abolishment of the death penalty, stoning and qesas (Islamic punishments).
July 21, 2010
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Open Letter to Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden, Regarding the Islamic Republic’s Terrorism
Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt:
In January this year, Mr. Babak Shadidi, an Iranian-born Swedish citizen and a former member of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, revealed a plot to assassinate a number of the leaders of that party. The plot was planned in Sweden and was intended to be carried out in Germany. Babak Shadidi, who had planned to play a role in this plot, had a change of heart: he informed the party and the Swedish police, and disclosed the conspiracy. He has subsequently received numerous death threats.
Although a considerable amount of information and leads were provided to the police regarding this case, no serious attempt was made to apprehend the conspirators. It must be emphasized that one of the two agents of the Islamic Republic, who took Babak Shadidi blindfolded to a house on the outskirts of Stockholm to explain the details of the plot, has been identified.
While the Swedish police have passively neglected this case, on June 20th, Babak Shadidi was attacked by agents of the Islamic Republic while entering his home and was severely injured inside the house. He was then immediately flown by helicopter to a hospital for treatment.
Mr. Prime Minister!
You are certainly aware of the Islamic Republic’s terrorism. This regime’s existence has its foundations in terror and thuggery. The terrorists reigning in Tehran have organized hundreds of assassinations of their opponents outside Iran. There are a number of leading figures in the regime who are sought by Interpol for direct involvement in organizing terrorist activities abroad. The plot to assassinate the leaders of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, which was conducted from Sweden, as well as the Köln kidnapping for 12 days of Dariush Shokouf, the director of “Iran, Prison” (a film about the rapes and torture of the political prisoners), are two links in this chain of assassinations and terror.
The people of Iran have shaken the foundations of the Islamic Republic regime, and the world is now aware of its criminal and dangerous nature. Today, even United Nations judges* are talking about the necessity of indicting the top figures of this regime on charges of genocide. The time of governments remaining silent and appeasing this murderous, terrorist regime has long passed.
Yet, the Islamic regime, out of desperation, continues its efforts in various ways to spread fear and silence the opposition outside of Iran.
Hence, we would like to draw your attention to this issue. We expect that you not allow Swedish soil become a safe haven for Islamic Republic’s terrorism against its opposition. So far, different interests have led to silence in the face of the Islamic Republic’s terrorist actions. We will continue to spread public awareness against this policy of silence and condemn it. We demand first of all that you not ignore these terrorist acts by the Islamic Republic with the excuse of “national interest” and “diplomacy.” Secondly, we demand that this particular case be thoroughly investigated and the public informed of the findings.
Neither the Iranian people nor Swedish public opinion will accept that you allow Islamic terrorism do it pleases in Sweden. It is your obligation to protect the lives and safety of the Islamic Republic’s opposition in Sweden. In closing, we would like to emphasize that Babak Shadidi continues to be victimized by the Islamic Republic of Iran and must be protected.
Abdollah Asadi, Secretary General, Solidarity-Confederation of Iranian refugees
Kima Pazuki, Human rights activist
Mahin Alipur, Head of the Campaign to Defend Women’s Rights in Iran
Karim Shah-Mohammadi, Head of the Children First Foundation, Sweden
Asad Nodinian, Responssible for Cmmunist combatant site
Afsane Wahdat, head of Ex-Muslim organization Sweden
Khalil Keyvan, secretary the Worker-communist Party of Iran, Abroad Organization
To respond to this letter, please contact: Afsane Vahdat
Copy to: European Parliament
July 19, 2010
* Geoffrey Robertson’s report on crimes committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran for among others genocide is here.
Press Release 18
According to one of our sources in Tehran today, the Islamic Republic’s judiciary authorities have announced that a decision will be made on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani on Wednesday the 21st of July.
The Tabriz deputy prosecutor has called for Sakineh’s execution by hanging; thus, the danger of Sakineh’s execution is still very high, and we therefore need to intensify the pressure against the Islamic Republic to save Sakineh from state-sponsored murder.
Sakineh has been charged with having extramarital sexual relations; she has been lashed for this 99 times in front of her son and imprisoned for over 4 years under the nightmare of stoning.
Sakineh must be freed. To free Sakineh from execution and prison, we must intensify international pressure. This is the only way to force the regime of murderers to retreat. The widespread international efforts in the past few weeks have proven that it is possible to force back the hand of the Islamic regime and rescue Sakineh and others sentenced to execution and stoning.
The International Committee against Execution
July 19th 2010
Tir 28 1389
Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, claims the burka empowers women. I suppose it could do in the same way FGM, foot binding, Suttee, a chastity belt, empower women – which is err, not at all.
Here is an extensive interview I did with Ireland’s Newstalk radio on the issue.
Carline Spelman should walk around in the burka for 24 hours and see how empowered she feels.
It’s a crime to be a woman in Iran says Namazie in a Globe and Mail article on the situation of women in Iran.
We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the fate of 43 year old Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani and fear she may be executed in Iran at any time for ‘having an illicit relationship.’
We call on people everywhere to intensify their protests by marking Saturday 24 July as the International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day. On the Saturday, we ask you to come out on to the streets and in city centres across the globe at 2pm local time bringing photos of Sakine and messages in her defence and against stoning and execution. Other measures that can be taken include highlighting her case wherever possible, signing petitions here, here and here, joining rallies, and keeping pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The mother of two has already received 99 lashes and been sentenced to death by stoning. Sajjad, her 22-year-old son, who raised the alarm of her imminent stoning when there was no further legal recourse via an open letter to the people of the world and said ‘there is no justice’ in Iran has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence for his brave efforts to secure his mother’s freedom.
As a result of the public outcry, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London has issued a press release stating that the regime did not intend to stone her, that stoning in Iran was rare and that there was no truth to the reports. Her lawyer, however, has made it clear that ‘Iranian embassies are not a part of the judiciary system, and it is the judiciary which should cancel this sentence.’ Rather than being rare, a new report has found that over 100 known stonings have already taken place and another 25 known cases await death by stoning in Iran. Since the global protests, families of others held in Tabriz prison have come forward with news of 170 people sentenced to death, including children, youth, and 18 men and women for being gay. Two other women also await death by stoning in the same prison including Azar Bagheri who was 15 when she was arrested and 25 year old Maryam Ghorbanzadeh who is currently pregnant.
On 24 July 2010 at 2pm join us and make the world stand still in its rage against medievalism and barbarity and in its support of humanity. Sakine, her children and the many others awaiting death by stoning and execution deserve nothing less.
Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions (Germany)
Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All (UK)
Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran (USA)
Shahla Abgari, Human Rights Activist (USA)
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Stop Child Executions (Canada)
Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle (Australia)
Caroline Brancher, Union des Familles Laïques (France)
Helle Merete Brix, Journalist and Writer (Denmark)
Roy Brown, International Humanist and Ethical Union (Switzerland)
Ed Buckner, President, American Atheists (USA)
Peter Calluy, Belgian Humanist Society (Belgium)
Pierre Cassen, Riposte Laïque (France)
Megan Cornish, Seattle Radical Women (USA)
Parvin Darabi, Dr. Homa Darabi Foundation (USA)
Richard Dawkins, Scientist (UK)
Sanal Edamaruku, Rationalist International (India)
Bill Flanagan, Queen’s University (Canada)
Tahir Aslam Gora, Writer and Journalist (Canada)
AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher (UK)
Laura Guidetti, Marea Association (Italy)
Maria Hagberg, Network against Honour-Related Violence (Sweden)
Johann Hari, Journalist (UK)
Farzana Hassan, Author (Canada)
Tasneem Khalil, Independent World Report (Sweden)
Hope Knutsson, Sidmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Iceland)
Leo Igwe, Nigerian Humanist Movement (Nigeria)
Sonia Jabbar, Journalist (India)
Trefor Jenkins, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, High Court Advocate (Pakistan)
Monica Lanfranco, Marea Feminist Review (Italy)
Anne-marie Lizin, Belgian Senate Honorary Speaker (Belgium)
Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue (France)
Kinga Lohmann, KARAT Coalition (Poland)
Mohamed Mahmoud, Centre for Critical Studies of Religion (UK)
Irshad Manji, European Foundation for Democracy and New York University (USA)
Caspar Melville, Rationalist Association (UK)
Behnaz Parman, Artist (Germany)
Angela Payne, Anti-Injustice Movement (UK)
Clancy Pegg, Bioethics Journal (UK)
Naomi Phillips, British Humanist Association (UK)
David Pollock, European Humanist Federation (UK)
Venita Popovic, Zenicke Sveske Journal (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Gita Sahgal, Human Rights Campaigner (UK)
Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society (UK)
Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative (Poland)
Udo Schuklenk, Queen’s University (Canada)
Aisha Lee Shaheed, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (UK)
Issam Shukri, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq (Canada)
Elizabeth Sidney, Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality (UK)
Joan Smith, Writer and Activist (UK)
Roy Speckhardt, American Humanist Association (USA)
Annie Sugier, Ligue du Droit International Des Femmes (France)
Richy Thompson, National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (UK)
Christine Tasin, Résistance Républicaine (France)
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner UK)
Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker (India)
Shishir Thadani, South Asian Voice (India)
Gianni Verdoliva, Journalist (Italy)
1. The new and comprehensive list of persons stoned to death or awaiting death by stoning in Iran compiled by Farshad Hosseini of the ICAE is available in Persian. It is being translated into English.
2. See a 17 July article in the Times calling for the eviction of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
3. For more information, please contact:
Mina Ahadi, Germany, ICAE and ICAS Coordinator, Email, 0049 1775692413
Ahmad Fatemi, Sweden, ICAE Public Relations, Email, 0046 0735203817
Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, Email, 0044 7719166731
4. To donate to the important work of the International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions, please make your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and send to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal. Please earmark your donation.
Exiles urge that Iran be ejected from UN women’s group
Martin Fletcher, The Times, 16 July 2010
Pressure groups led by Iranian exiles are demanding that the country be thrown out of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
They have seized on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the mother given 99 lashes and sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery.
“Such a regime has no place at the table when it comes to setting global gender policy in the 21st century,” said Maria Rohaly, co-ordinator of Mission Free Iran. “By defending the practice of stoning, the Islamic Republic has itself publicly and on the global stage provided the basis upon which the world must insist that it be immediately removed from the commission.”
Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for Iran Solidarity, said: “For Iran to be sitting on such a committee is tragic and outrageous. It’s like having a South African apartheid government sitting on the Commission for Racial Equality. How is it possible?”
Ahmad Fatemi, of the International Committee Against Executions, said it was “obscene and unacceptable that a country like Iran gets a seat on this committee. It is rewarding the Islamic Republic for its atrocities.”
Fifteen Iranians are thought to be awaiting execution by stoning, all but three of them women. In Tabriz prison, where Ms Ashtiani has been incarcerated for five years, they include Azar Bagheri, 19, who was forced into marriage at 14, convicted of adultery on her husband’s say-so and has twice been subjected to mock stonings as she is not yet old enough to be executed.
Stoning is simply the most egregious form of discrimination suffered by Iranian women. Their evidence in court is worth half that of a man; they have severely curtailed rights of inheritance, divorce and child custody; they are forbidden to travel without their husband’s permission; and must cover their heads and bodies whenever they go out. Women’s right activists are routinely harrassed, arrested and imprisoned.
In April Iran gained a four-year seat on the commission, a move trumpeted by state media because only one other country, Thailand, applied for the two vacant slots allocated to Asia. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of several outraged members of the US Congress, said: “That an Iranian regime that shoots and stones women would be ‘elected’ to a UN body supposedly dedicated to women’s rights adds a whole new disgusting twist to the ongoing saga of Iran exploiting the UN.”
See my post in response to an article criticising Mina and Sakina and defending the regime below:
This pathetic article is an attempt by the regime and its supporters to discredit human rights activists abroad. Irrespective of Mina Ahadi’s beliefs and political affiliations with opposition organisations rightly opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the only misinformation on Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case and that of others comes from the Islamic Republic of Iran in an effort to conceal its many crimes. Clearly, the regime’s officials have continued to sanction stoning and defend their [in]justice system of Sharia law. Sakine’s stoning sentence was for having an ‘illicit relationship’ for which she has already been flogged 99 times.
A new and comprehensive report shows that in fact over 100 people have been stoned to death by the regime and that 25 await death by stoning including a pregnant woman and a girl arrested when she was 15. The document using official sources can be found here in Persian: http://countmein-iran.com/Sangsarha%20lst-farshad-july2010.pdf and is currently being translated.
Stoning is sanctioned by many religions, including Islam. Under Sharia law (which comprises of the Koran, Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence) stoning is the punishment of sex outside of marriage. Whilst though it is a sentence in other religions, it is Islamism today that has political power in many places including Iran, hence the barbarity and medievalism of countries under Islamic laws.
When the regime is overthrown by the unfolding people’s revolution in Iran, the world will be horrified at the extent of its crimes.
That day is very near.
Friday 16 July 2010
Two suicide bombings outside a mosque in Zahedan yesterday have left scores dead and hundreds wounded. As well as the two suicide bombers and members of the Pasdaran Army, casualties included many ordinary people. The bombings have led to fears among the people and have allowed the Islamic regime to step up its militarisation of the city and of the whole region. The group Jundullah has claimed responsibility, publishing photos of two young people said to be the bombers. The group said the bombings were in retaliation for the recent execution of the group’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi, as well as in support of the “Sunni people”.
This is, however, yet another instance of the war of Islamic terrorists: between, on the one hand, Iran’s Islamic regime, which cannot last even a single day without execution and terrorisation of the people, and, on the other, the Alqaeda-like Jundullah. People, whether stamped as “Shia” or “Sunni”, are the victim of these crimes. They have no interest in this brutal conflict between the Islamic regime and the vile political Islamic forces.
The Worker-communist Party of Iran strongly condemns these crimes, Islamic terrorism as a whole and the massacre of innocent people. WPI calls on the people, regardless of the fake identities that have been manufactured for them, to step up their efforts, hand in hand, for the ousting of the regime, which is itself the source of Islamic terrorism and the system of murder, repression and impoverishment of the people, for a secular, non-ethnic and humanist political system.
Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran
Neither ethnic, nor religious, but a humanist state
For a socialist republic
Worker-communist Party of Iran
In Iran workers are routinely arrested for going on strike, for building a union or for celebrating May Day. That is what happened to bus workers in Tehran: Over 700 of them were arrested when they went on strike in 2006. Some of their leaders, such as Mansoor Ossanlou, are still in jail, and some have been fired from their jobs. It happened to sugar cane workers when they organised protests over unpaid wages and built a union. Their leaders have spent months in prison and are daily harassed with court summons and heavy bails. Some have also lost their jobs. Teachers who took strike action and held rallies over their pay and conditions have also been put in prison. Over the years, hundreds of workers have met a similar end for exercising their fundamental right to freely organise, strike and assemble.
Arbitrary arrests and detentions, long prison terms, violent interrogations, beatings, even use of lashing to degrade and break down, denial of medical care to sick detainees, constant harassment in the form of court summons, heavy bails and daily threats issued against the workers and their families, and the ultimate weapon of cutting workers off their livelihood by firing them, make up a brutal regime of systematic persecution of labour activists in Iran.
In May this year the regime added to its 31-year record of horrific human rights abuse by executing well-known teacher and labour activist Farzad Kamangar, along with four other political prisoners. The world’s trade unions and human rights organisations had been campaigning for Farzad’s release for years, and vehemently condemned the callous killings.
We, a group of labour activists and campaigners from Iran and around the world, have set up this campaign to highlight the plight of the workers currently in jail in Iran or under the threat of arrest and detention. The aim of the campaign is the immediate and unconditional release of all labour activists who are currently in jail. Some of us are former members of the very unions suppressed by the regime in Iran, who are continuing the fight in exile through this and other campaigns.
Our demand is clear: the terror and violence against workers in Iran must stop! Workers in Iran should be able to freely exercise their fundamental right to set up their own organisations, meet, assemble and protest as they wish, take strike action, organise and take part in rallies, etc., without fear of being arrested and thrown in jail. All jailed workers must be immediately and unconditionally freed!
The following workers are currently known to be held in various prisons and detention centres in Iran. The actual list is much longer. The whereabouts of some remain unknown (The list is regularly updated on our blogs):
From the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United (Vahed) Bus Company:
Mansoor Ossanlou (President)
Ebrahim Madadi (Vice President)
Saeed Torabian (Spokesperson)
Reza Shahabi (Treasurer)
From the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association:
Ali Akbar Baghani
Hossein Bastani Nejad
Mahmoud Beheshti Langroodi
Alireza Hashemi (General Secretary)
Seyyed Hashem Khastar
* Another teacher, Abdolreza Ghanbari, was arrested during the mass anti-government demonstration on 27 December 2009. He has been sentenced to death.
Other detained labour activists:
Mehdi Farrahi Shandiz
We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world and all individuals and organisations appalled by the horrific human rights abuse in Iran to support and sign up to this campaign.
Mamad Amiri (Labour activist, Sweden)
Davoud Aram (Labour activist, Canada)
Foroogh Arghavan (Labour activist, Canada)
Masoud Arzhang (Labour activist, Canada)
Naser Asghari (Labour activist, Canada)
Dave Bleakney (Canadian Union of Postal Workers, CUPW)
Shahla Daneshfar (Labour activist)
Pascal Descamp (Labour activist, member of CGT, France)
Salah Fallahi (Labour activist, transport workers’ union, Norway)
Morteza Fateh (Labour activist, UK)
Ahmad Fatemi (Labour activist, member of Unionen, Sweden)
Reza Fathi (Labour activist, former member of a union in Iran)
Farshad Hosseini (Labour activist, Holland)
Mehran Khorshidi (Labour activist, transport workers’ union, Norway)
Yadi Kouhi (Labour activist, France)
Mehran Mahboobi (Labour activist, Canada)
Shiva Mahboobi (Spokesperson, Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran)
Manouchehr Mahdavi Tabar (Former member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company)
Abbas Mandegar (Labour activist, transport workers’ union, Canada)
Shahnaz Morattab (Labour activist, postal workers’ union, Germany)
Arsalan Nazeri (Labour activist, Australia)
Mohammad Nemati (Former member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers)
Saber Rahimi (Labour activist, Norway)
Reza Rashidi (Former Member of the Follow-up Committee to Set Up Free Workers’ Organisations in Iran)
Bahram Soroush (Labour activist)
Abbas Zamani (Labour activist, former member of a union in Iran)
Shahla_Daneshfar@yahoo.com 0044-77798 98968
Bahram.Soroush@gmail.com 0044-7852 338334
8 July 2010
Farshad Husseini of the International Committee against Stoning has put together a list of all those stoned (over 100) and those waiting death by stoning (25). These are known cases only; the exact numbers are much higher.
An English version of this report will follow.
Press Release No.16
Sajjad, the son of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani,
summond by the Ministry of Intelligence in Tabriz
An information source of the International Committee Against Execution in Tabriz reports that Sajjad, the 22-year-old son of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani, has been summond to office 37 of the Tabriz branch of the Ministry of Intelligence today. The summon has been issued by Hoseyn Nobakht, Tabriz assistant public prosecutor. According to the source, it is not yet clear if Sajjad has actually presented himself to the said office. It is obvious to all those familiar with the Islamic Republic that such summons are aimed at pressurring the victims physically and emotionally.
The International Committee Against Executions vehemently condemns any threat, summon and persecution by the forces of oppression of the Islamic regime directed against the children of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani. The Committee also calls on all people across the world to strongly condemn the Islamic Republic’s conduct.
International Committee Against Execeutions
July 14, 2010
Thanks to F. Choquette for sending this in. Interesting points on Mormon and Scientology courts in the US – we need a One Law for All campaign there too, don’t we?
I have utmost respect for your work and I thought I should do a speech based on your activities.
I concentrate on the abuses of Scientology. I’ve been doing that for about two years.
I often speak at the Riverside, California Board of Supervisors. Here’s today’s speech in your honor:
Lake Elsinore, California
Press Release No. 13
After the campaign against the stoning sentence of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani had become internationalized, the families of those held in a prison in Tabriz, Azarbayjan, Iran, contacted and informed us about the shocking situation of their loved ones in jail. We disclose those cases too so that people of the world will become further aware of the vile character of this government, the government of murderers, and join the Iranian people in their struggle to overthrow it.
As reports received by the International Committee against Execution, there are 170 people sentenced to death in Tabriz prison. Among them there are a group of children under 18 and a pregnant woman.
Two other women sentenced to death by stoning
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.
18 homosexuals waiting to be hanged
We are in receipt of news about 8 women and 10 men in Tabriz prison sentenced to death by hanging for being homosexuals.
Young girl on death row takes her own life
Friday, July 9, 2010, Tabriz prison was shrouded in a deep sorrow. Soodaabe Ahmadi, 16 years of age, sentenced to death for murder, had killed herself in her cell. This young person took her own life because she was too young to bear to count the seconds to the first touch of the rope on her neck.
Young girl on death row
Fariba Shafaa’at, 20 years of age, was 14 when she was arrested and charged with the murder of her father. We were contacted from Tabriz on July 12, 2010, and told that the judiciary authorities in Tehran have already given the go-ahead for her execution. They are murdering this young woman who was only 14 when she was convicted of murder. She could be murdered at any moment.
This is only one prison and just one example of the indescribable brutality the Islamic regime has subjected the Iranian people to. The Islamic Republic is not the government of the Iranian people, it is their murderer. It must be banned from all international bodies, and all its embassies as well as various centers must be closed everywhere.
We call on the people of the world to intensify their pressure on the Islamic Republic. Organize rallies where you live and/or in front of the regime’s embassies! Demand the quashing of all standing execution sentences as well as the abolition of stoning, and execution in general, in Iran!
We call on all relevant international organizations to dispatch commissions of inquiry to Iran in order to inspect the Tabriz prison and other murder houses of the Islamic Republic. Needless to say, this will have to be imposed on the regime.
International Committee against Execution
July 13, 2010
There were numerous protests and acts of solidarity that took place this past weekend against stoning and executions and in defence of Sakine and others.
Here are some photos from the protest in London.
Also many sent in their acts of solidarity to us during the weekend. Here are a few:
Rafiq Mahmood designed a T-Shirt against stoning.
Sean sent this message:
In light of the current situation in Iran, in which the government nearly stoned to death Mrs Ashtiani, I want to fully pledge my support to the work of your organisation. I feel deep sympathy for the people of Iran and I want nothing more for them than freedom, equality, democracy and secularism. I am eighteen years old, from the UK and don’t really know how I can be of use but I would be willing to do anything in my power to help. I want the next generation of Iranian youths to grow up in a country in which they are not discriminated against based on their sex, religion, ethnicity or political views but on the content of their character. God bless your efforts. With love.
James Nichols sent the following message:
To stone anyone to death is a BARBARIC act.
Those who would perpetrate this are BARBARIANS.
Allah is indeed Akhbar, but in His wisdom will make us stand before Him to decided our actions. HE will assuredly send BARBARIANS to Jehanum.
Jesus also asked, “Who among you will throw the first stone?” He also knew Allah would decided the stone throwers actions and send them to HELL.
I PLEAD to you in authority to have mercy on this woman, Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani.
Annie Sugier translated our appeal into French:
11 juillet, journée internationale contre la lapidation – une journée que nous ferions bien de marquer car Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani est sur le point d’être lapidée pour adultère. S’exprimant en son nom, ses deux enfants ont dit “ Aujourd’hui nous nous adressons à l’opinion publique dans le monde. Cela fait 5 ans que nous vivons dans la peur et dans l’horreur, privés de l’amour maternel. Le monde est-il si cruel qu’il puisse assister à cette catastrophe sans rien faire ? ».
Ne restez pas passifs à regarder ce qui se passe. Mettons un terme à tout ça une fois pour toutes.
Pour montrer que vous condamnez la lapidation et soutenez Sakine, pendant la semaine du 5-11 juillet, prenez des pierres de votre ville, universités, lieux de travail,… mettez les dans une place publique, avec un message de soutien à Sakine et contre les exécutions par lapidation ( http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-11-july-place-stones-in-public.html). Envoyez des lettres de protestation et signez la pétition contre la lapidation http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/06/please-help-our-mother-return-home-stop.html.
My piece was included in this week’s best news stories, comment, analysis and blogs from guardian.co.uk/law.
* Sending messages of protest to the Islamic regime of Iran:
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email (Put given name in first starred box, family name in second starred box, and email address in third. Paste appeal in large box)
* Putting pressure on other governments to condemn the stoning and urge Sakine’s release.
* Joining the below protests or organising your own:
LONDON, England: Friday July 9, 5pm-8pm outside the Islamic Republic Embassy, 16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PT. Organized by Iran Solidarity UK.
MALMO, Sweden: Friday July 9, 4:30pm at Davidshalls Bro. Organised by IS, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, and Committee for the Defence of Women’s Rights in Iran. Contact: Hasan Salehi +46 703171102 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +46 703171102 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Farideh Arman +46 703638088.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Friday July 9, 4:30pm at Sergelstorg. Organized by Iran Solidarity Sweden.
LONDON, England: Saturday July 10, 2pm Trafalgar Square: Caravan through London against stoning in Iran. We will be meeting at 2pm on Trafalgar Square to do a stone-in act and then move towards other points in London staging more stone-in acts to raise awareness of Sakine’s sentence. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07507978745.
BEVERLY HILLS CALIFORNIA, United States: Sunday July 11, 12pm-3pm on the north side of Santa Monica Blvd and Beverly Drive on the side with the grass and park. Contact: email@example.com.
SYDNEY, Australia: Sunday July 11, 11am-1pm outside City Hall. Organized by Iran Solidarity Australia.
WASHINGTON DC, United States: Sunday July 11, 12pm-1:30pm outside Islamic Republic’s Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy (2209 Wisconsin Ave NW) to protest against stoning and execution and in remembrance of 18 Tir. Organized by WPI, REAL Courage and Mission Free Iran
Keep the pressure on until we end stoning and save Sakine
Mina Ahadi’s rebuttal of the press release issued by the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London on the stoning case
8 July 2010
With regards to the 8 July 2010 press release issued by the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London on the stoning sentence of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani:
1. The Islamic Republic of Iran has retreated to some extent due to international pressure and widespread coverage received by the international campaign to save Sakine’s life. The main aim of the embassy’s press release, however, is to create doubt and detract from the campaign to save Sakine and others sentenced to death by stoning and execution.
2. Still the press release is a clear confirmation of the barbaric act of stoning saying only that the regime rarely carries out such sentences! The International Committee Against Executions and Stoning has a list of 13 people languishing for years in prison awaiting death by stoning. The real numbers are much higher.
3. The embassy’s press release says Sakine will not be stoned but it does not say what fate awaits her. They may execute her instead. The regime has retreated from stoning on a number of occasions in the past but has executed the accused instead. The execution of Abdulla Farivar in Sari prison for the alleged crime of sex outside of marriage is a case in point. Therefore, Sakine’s life is still in danger.
4. The aim of the campaign to save Sakine Ashtiani Mohammadi is for an official rescinding of her stoning and execution sentence and her unconditional release. Sex outside of marriage and the sexual relations of adults is their private affair. It is not a crime and must never be prosecuted.
5. The Islamic Republic of Iran must officially rescind the stoning and execution sentences of Sakine and all those facing stoning and execution and end the inhuman and barbaric punishment of stoning and execution.
6. Even this limited retreat is a success for Sakine and her children Sajjad and Faride as well as all the activists of the campaign against executions and stoning and decent people everywhere. Our campaign has shown that we can force the regime to back down. The embassy’s press release will not stop us from intensifying our powerful campaign. The retreat, however limited, has shown that the regime is under pressure.
I congratulate all those who have joined and supported our campaign for this limited success. I ask however that you step up your efforts for Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, Mohammad Reza Hadadi (juvenile offender awaiting imminent execution), Zeinab Jalalian (sentenced to death for ‘enmity against God’) and others awaiting execution and stoning. Our pressure is working. We must intensify it until we secure a victory for the people of Iran by saving the lives of Sakine and others. We mustn’t stop until we deprive the regime in Iran of this tool for suppression and murder.
International Committee against Stoning and Execution
8 July 2010
1. For more information, contact:
2. The London embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s press release on the matter can be found below:
In the Name of God
Considering the statements made by the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt on an Iranian national, Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, and her execution, hereby this mission denies the false news aired in this respect and notifies the Ministry that according to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran, she will not be executed by stoning punishment. It is notable that this kind of punishment has rarely been implemented in Iran and various means and remedies must be probed and exhausted to finally come up with such a punishment.
It should be added that the stoning punishment has not been cited in the draft Islamic Penal Code being deliberated in the Iranian Parliament.
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran highly recommends that news and reports should not be taken for granted and considered a reliable source of information for official statements or misjudgements.
July 8, 2010
Here’s a hillarious piece written by Adam Deen (I know, who?) on my article on Sharia law in Britain called ‘What isn’t wrong with sharia law?’.
He emails me with the link saying: “Hope this clarifies the mistakes in your piece and you write a retraction…”
Adam, don’t hold your breath.