I was meant to speak on BBC Sunday Live’s debate today on whether it was right to condemn the regime for Sakineh’s stoning.
In the live debate, they managed to interview Suhaib Hassan from the Islamic Sharia Council defending stoning and someone from Tehran saying she faces execution for murdering her husband but somehow there was no time in the debate for me.
Even the presenter, Susanna Reid, said stonings were rare and that none had taken place since the 2002 moratorium! In fact 17 people have been stoned since the moratorium; also there are court documents provided by her lawyer specifying her stoning sentence for adultery. BBC had all this information. Without providing evidence to the contrary, BBC Sunday Live took as fact the regime’s pronouncements on her case. They failed to mention that the man charged with her husband’s murder is not being executed and that the trumped up murder charges are an attempt by the regime to silence the public outcry and kill Sakineh. As Sakineh herself has said: “they think they can do anything to women.”
The crux of the debate is this – of course it is right to condemn the regime. It has nothing to do with imposing ‘western’ values or imperialism. It’s a matter of choice really. Do you choose the regime’s values or that of Sakineh and her son’s who are fighting to keep her alive.
BBC Sunday Live has clearly made its choice. And the millions worldwide, including in Iran, who won’t stop fighting to save her life have made ours.
We will not stop till we end stoning and save Sakineh.
To see the debate, click here. If you are unhappy at the way the debate went, please contact the programme and ask for a balanced view on the issue: