September 16, 2010
Once again, on Wednesday [September 15], Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani appeared on the 20:30 program of Seda va Sima, the Islamic Republic’s state television, and made statements to the effect that “I have not been tortured,” “my participation in the previous interview was my own decision,” and “whatever I have said in confession against myself has been my own words.”
It is has been a month since Sakineh has been deprived of visits with her children and her lawyer, and her connection with the outside world has been severed. Yet they [the Islamic Republic] has brought her in front of the television cameras to say whatever they have dictated to her. They cannot explain why a prisoner would appear on the television screen, in total freedom, to confess against herself, rather than to protest against what they have done to her.
These television shows, orchestrated by the Information Ministry and the judicial apparatus, are called “interviews,” but the whole world understands them to be a [coerced] show. And that merely broadcasting such an “interview” is enough to demonstrate how vulnerable and dispossessed Iranian prisoners are. If Sakineh had the least of freedom of speech, her first sentence would have been, “Why have I been deprived of seeing Sajjad and Saideh [her children] and my lawyer, deprived even of telephone contact with them?” Her second and third questions would have been, “Why are women not considered human under your regime?” And “Why, and for what charge, have I been flogged? Under what charge have I been sentenced to stoning and why have I spent 5 years in prison? Why has my closed file been opened again? Why has my lawyer’s home and office been ransacked, and why have you stolen my files? And why is your mass media propagating against me?”
Here, a government in its entirety, including the judiciary system, the state television, and the diplomatic system, have been mobilized against an imprisoned woman. Her connection to the outside world has been cut off, and she has been denied any right to defend herself, in order to pave the way to her execution. This reflects how absolutely a person in the Islamic Republic’s prisons is bereft of any and all rights. It also shows the desperation of the regime.
We condemn the despised Seda va Sima, the Islamic Republic’s state television, and we demand commutation of Sakineh’s execution and stoning sentence and her immediate and unconditional freedom. We call upon everyone to join the international protests on the 18th of September. The only answer to the Islamic Republic, both inside Iran and in the international arena, is intensified protest.
International Committee against Stoning
International Committee against Execution
September 16, 2010
The link of interview with Sakineh.