Thanks to all of you who supported the 18 September day of action in support of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and against stoning and flogging.
You can see a visual report of some of the actions here. Highlights include a rally of over 150 people in Brussels organised by Brussels humanists/secularists, MPs and Amnesty International as well as nearly 20,000 people chanting ‘stop stoning now’ at the Protest the Pope rally in London at which I spoke along with Terry Sanderson, Pragna Patel, Richard Dawkins, Johann Hari, Peter Tatchell and others.
Our next actions are on 10 October, International Day against the Death Penalty, and against Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York to address the UN General Assembly this week.
In protest to Ahmadinejad’s visit, 40 campaigners, academics and writers have called on the UN General Assembly to issue an emergency resolution calling for an end to the medieval and barbaric punishment of stoning as well as the immediate release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and all those sentenced to death by stoning. The open letter also asks that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not be allowed to address the General Assembly and that his government be boycotted. You can see the letter here.
Just recently, Ahmadinejad has said in an interview with ABC network that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani had never been sentenced to death by stoning. Her son, Sajjad, a 22 year old transport worker, has challenged him to a debate on this. In Sajjad’s letter distributed by the International Committees against Stoning and Execution, he says: ‘For peoples’ information, we will publish documents of our mother’s stoning sentence, issued by the offices that work under Mr. Ahmadinejad’s presidency, so the world can judge his words objectively.’ He goes on to ask ABC network to ‘arrange for a live broadcast discussion between Mr. Ahmadinejad and I on these issues…’ You can read his full statement here and also see copies of the actual stoning sentence here.
In Ahmadinejad’s interview he also blames: ‘someone in Germany’ for the uproar surrounding Ms Ashtiani’s case. Mina Ahadi’s response will be translated into English shortly. In her statement in Persian she ‘accepts the “accusation” with pride!’
By the way, Facebook had disabled Mina and my accounts recently right before the 18 September day of action for Sakineh and against stoning. After many letters of protest from supporters, and an open letter to Facebook founders by a number of well-known personalities, my account has been enabled again, though Mina’s has not. Please keep writing to Facebook until they enable her account as well.
Finally, please don’t forget to donate to the Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani campaign. Thank you for all your donations so far but we need a lot more money to be able to cover all our costs. You can donate via cheque or Paypal here. No amount is too small or too big!
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