Enough! On the ‘storm’ around Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case

The Islamic Republic of Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have raised the issue of 41 year old Teresa Lewis’ impending execution in the US to challenge the “storm” surrounding 43 year old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who has been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran.

Clearly both women must not be executed. Executions – for whatever reason – are the most deplorable form of intentional murder.

Having said that, however, there are a number of reasons why Sakineh’s impending stoning has caused such a huge public outcry.

Firstly, we have a photo of Sakineh; we know her full name, that she has had a fifth grade education, and that she ‘wants to live,’ making it extremely personal.

Her children have pleaded for help. The international campaign took off in an unprecedented manner after an open letter from Sakineh’s two children calling on people to intervene.

Who can ever forget that letter?

It said: ‘Today we stretch out our hands to the people of the whole world… Is the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing about it?’

Also we – and particularly Mina Ahadi – have been campaigning against stoning for years. Mina first started working on Sakineh’s case three years ago.

Finally, stoning is the most egregious and barbaric form of execution. The law even specifies the size of stone to be used. Prior to the stoning, the bodies of the victims are washed in the same way the dead are (whilst they are alive), wrapped in a shroud, and then buried in a ditch – up to the waist for men and chest for women. They are then pelted with stones – on prison grounds or in their already dug out graves – until they are dead.

Sakineh has become the cry of 21st century humanity vis-à-vis this era’s barbarism.

Today, stoning has become the racial apartheid of this century – intolerable and unacceptable. The public are just not going to stand for stoning anymore. And as a result governments have taken heed. We know that many governments supported racial apartheid in South Africa for a very long time and only as a result of public pressure did they eventually deem racial apartheid a crime against humanity. We also know that many of the very governments criticising Iran on Sakineh’s case have had and continue to have wonderfully cosy relations with that regime despite its slaughter of an entire generation.

But that is the nature of public outcries – they change laws, they ban the intolerable, they challenge the powers that be and even bring down governments and regimes.

Sakineh’s case has caused such a storm because we want her to live.

We want to save her.

We won’t let her die.

Not because she is the only one in this situation but because she symbolises that which we will no longer tolerate.

There are many others like her – in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, China and yes the US waiting to be killed one way or the other by the state as a tool to repress and intimidate society at large.

But there are also many others like Baby P or Dua Khalil, yet it is their faces and names and stories that force us to scream enough.

Enough!

Stoning is not people’s culture – it’s the regime’s!

On the psychologist and the executioner

On the 5 September BBC Sunday Morning Live debate on ‘whether it is right to condemn Iran for stoning, studio guest psychologist Aric Sigmund made some interesting (to say the least) contributions during the debate ‘is it right to condemn Iran for stoning.’ He said:

‘I have been to Iran by the way, and like many places it’s a shame – one of the kindest cultures who are terribly kind to children; we never see that on the news, we only see the extreme things. But aside from that this is a really a question about moral imperialism. I think we should obviously protest but that is very different from expecting them to conform to the way we do things…’ He went on to say: ‘we expect every other culture because we have computers and nuclear power and so on that they will evolve their legal system as quickly as we have changed ours.’ (Italics are mine)

I know. I know…

I am not sure what this is called in clinical terms, but in political ones, it is a classic case of cultural relativism, which is the basic need to explain – and in truth condone – vile regimes and legal systems by saying it is part of people’s culture.

After all whose culture are we talking about?

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s culture (educated until 5th grade) who ‘wants to live’ or that of the Islamic regime of Iran that wants to kill her?

Whose?

Sakineh’s 22 year old transport worker son, Sajjad, who writes open letters to the people of the world despite threats and intimidations asking for help in saving his mother’s life or the regime that has already flogged his mother twice – once in front of his very eyes when he was only 17?

Whose culture?

Mina Ahadi’s who is spearheading the international campaign in her defence or the regime that executed Mina’s first husband in the very same prison Sakineh languishes in?

Whose?

Neda’s and the millions who poured out onto the streets in 2009 or the regime that shot at protestors and killed her in broad daylight?

The people who are kind to children that Aric Sigmund probably met when he travelled to Iran are not one and the same with a regime that has the highest rate of child executions in the world.

I don’t think this is so hard to understand. You can’t sweep the death penalty in the US under the carpet by saying Americans are kind, now can you? But somehow this is acceptable when it comes to a place like Iran.

And by the way, are Sakineh and Sajjad ‘moral imperialists’ for opposing stoning in Iran? And am I one for opposing executions in the US and elsewhere? How absurd. The whole point of political and social protest movements like the international campaign to save Sakineh’s life is that people everywhere have a right and duty to intervene on humanity’s behalf. To say otherwise, when it comes to a place like Iran – is the racism of lower expectations and double standards.

And of course Aric Sigmund does not come on BBC programmes to say that people’s legal systems need time to evolve when the likes of the Islamic regime of Iran takes power and – within one month – imposes compulsory veiling on women and girls via brute force. The cultural defence only ever supports reaction and medievalism, and never the progressive demands and values of people resisting it day in and day out.

Clearly, first and foremost, it comes down to a matter of choice. One either chooses the culture of the regime and the executioner – as Aric Sigmund has – or that of Sakineh, Sajjad and the protesting people of Iran – as millions of others have.

***

The above is part of a series of responses to a 5 September BBC Sunday Morning Live programme.
Here are my previous entries:

Ayatollah BBC, 10 September

A woman’s life is at stake, a reply to BBC Sunday Morning Live Executive Producer’s email, 9 September

An open letter to the BBC Sunday Morning Live programme on its bias against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 8 September. You can see the programme in this entry.

Ayatollah BBC

Below is another email from the BBC Sunday Morning Live Executive Producer dated 10 September which still refuses to respond to my criticism or request. Since the programme clearly doesn’t want to address this issue in an unbiased manner, I won’t be replying. What for? Instead I will take my complaint to a higher public body and will report back here when I do.

As an aside, though, there’s a good reason they are known as Ayatollah BBC in Iran. After all who holds a debate entitled ‘is it right to condemn Iran for stoning’ when the regime has stepped up its efforts to kill Sakineh? And whilst the whole world has risen up in outrage?

Here’s the second email:

Dear Ms Namazie

Thanks for your email.

We completely understand the depth of feeling you express on this subject. That is precisely why we held the debate about stoning in Iran.
When referring to “official” Iranian government policy on this issue Susanna was very careful to use that word each time – “officially”. That clearly implies this is a government line – not necessarily one to be credibly believed. Otherwise we simply would not have had a reason to debate a subject which as I said we may well return to.
We had two contributors from outside of the studio who provided context to a debate in which our studio guests entirely condemned stoning. As I mentioned in my previous email, I regret that we did not have sufficient time during the discussion to take your contribution.
Sincerely
Richard Pattinson
Executive Producer
Sunday Morning Live
BBC One

BBC Sunday Morning Live: A woman’s life is at stake

A BBC Sunday Morning Live Executive Producer has responded to my complaint. Below you will see his email and my reply.

8 September 2010

Dear Maryam Namazie

Thank you for your email to Sunday Morning Live this afternoon, which I am pleased to respond to. I understand two of my colleagues have also apologised to you for the fact that you were not able to take part in Sunday’s discussion.

Our debate on Sunday was whether we were right to condemn Iran over the stoning of women. On our studio panel we had two contributors who both condemned stoning and argued that we were right to condemn Iran for carrying it out, and a third who condemned the stonings themselves. The discussion was introduced using a filmed interview with a campaigner for women’s rights in Iran. We also had two contributors via webcam: one who spoke on Sharia law; and a lawyer from Tehran who tried to explain the position of the authorities in Iran.

I regret that there was insufficient time during what was a heated discussion for us to take a contribution from yourself, and would like to take this opportunity to apologise for that. I do not believe, however, that the debate was an unbalanced one. Indeed, all our guests in the studio went out of their way to condemn this medieval practice.

As we’ve said, the Sunday Morning Live focus was on whether it was right for countries such as ours to try to intervene. We certainly do not believe we in any way minimised the horror of stoning, and I don’t think anyone watching the debate could come away feeling that it had been anything other than condemned in the strongest terms.

When the “murder” issue was raised, Susanna Reid pointed out that Ms Ashtiani’s guilt was contested.

We take some exception, therefore, to the suggestion that the programme gave any succour, even unwittingly, to a regime that may indeed be manoeuvring for ways to implement a penal policy which we clearly signalled, at the start of the item, as belonging to the Middle Ages.

For many of the reasons you mention it may be all too likely that we return to Ms Ashtiani’s plight in a future programme. If and when that happens we would of course want to consider your making a contribution to the on-air debate.

With very best wishes.
Richard Pattinson
RICHARD PATTINSON
Executive Producer | Sunday Morning Live | BBC One

Here is my reply:

9 September 2010

Dear Mr Pattinson

Thank you for your prompt albeit disappointing response to my email regarding the 5 September BBC Sunday Morning Live programme on the Iran stoning case. Whilst I am not surprised, I must still insist on the provision of factual corrections with regards stoning in Iran and Sakineh’s case in your upcoming programme.

Your response clearly fails to address the main point I made, which is that your presenter, Susanna Reid, made factually incorrect statements that gave the impression to viewers that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is not to be stoned, that stoning does not take place in Iran or is rare and that Ms Ashtiani is facing execution for murder rather than adultery. Even where your presenter added that her guilt was ‘contested’ (as you mention) it was to reiterate the fabricated murder charge against her. Also, the introduction by a women’s rights campaigner, whilst interesting, gave no information on Ms Ashtiani’s specific case in order to help contradict statements made as facts by your presenter. Moreover, that some of your studio guests condemned stoning and the government despite your programme’s misinformation is a credit to them not the programme itself.

Unfortunately your response makes it seem as if my complaint is about my not being able to participate in the debate. It is not. It is about the adverse effects of the programme’s bias on the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Saying that stoning is no longer in existence in Iran or labeling Ms Ashtiani a murderer has direct bearings on her case. As I have said before, we must not forget that a woman’s life is at stake. After all, if we agree with her son that it is the international campaign in her defence that is keeping her alive, then such misinformation has direct and adverse effects on her situation. Also, isn’t the media bound to provide accurate information even in a religious programme? Is it accurate for your presenter to say: ‘the Iranian government says it is stopping stoning as a punishment for adultery and homosexuality’ and then go on to make a contradictory statement saying: ‘Officially the Iranian government does not condone stoning. There has been an official moratorium since 2002. Officially it has been dropped from the penal code?’

As an aside, your email states that the reason I was not brought on was the result of insufficient time. However, a phone call message from your colleague on 5 September said it was because viewers in the poll taken were ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of condemning Iran for stoning which is why you had two proponents of stoning join via webcam and no-one opposed to it. Since the poll conducted was about whether ‘money [was] ruining sports, I find both her explanation and yours lacking.

In any case, I look forward to a resolution of this matter.

Sincerely

Maryam

Maryam Namazie

****

To see my original complaint and the programme itself, click here.

Open letter to BBC Sunday Morning Live on its unfair and biased reporting

Maryam Namazie
8 September 2010

BBC Sunday Morning Live invited me to join its debate on whether ‘it is right to condemn Iran for stoning’ on 5 September 2010 via webcam. During the debate, the programme allowed only two interventions via webcam (that of Suhaib Hassan of the Islamic Sharia Council and Mohammad Morandi of Tehran University – both of whom were in support of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s stoning and/or execution). I (who had presumably been invited to defend Ms Ashtiani and oppose stoning in the debate) was never given the opportunity to speak.

To the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live Programme

I am writing to ask that you rectify gross inaccuracies regarding Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case and that of stoning in Iran in your upcoming programme.

Presenter Susanna Reid repeatedly provided misinformation on Sakineh’s case and on the practice of stoning in Iran during the 5 September debate on whether it was ‘right to condemn Iran for stoning.’

The first major inaccuracies were regarding the practice of stoning in Iran.

In the clip preceding the debate, Susanna Reid said that ‘the Iranian government says it is stopping stoning as a punishment for adultery and homosexuality.’ During the debate, she said: ‘Officially the Iranian government does not condone stoning. There has been an official moratorium since 2002. Officially it has been dropped from the penal code.’ Obviously these two statements contradict one another – either the Iranian government has stopped stoning or it is stopping it, but has not yet done so.

In fact, stoning is still part of the penal code. Moreover, despite a 2002 moratorium (which is not the same as officially dropping stoning from its penal code), 19 people have been stoned since and including 2002.

And far from being rare, as Ms Reid stressed on a number of occasions, there have been 150 known cases of death by stoning since 1980 with more than 20 people awaiting death by stoning in Iran right now, including Azar Bagheri who was 15 when she was arrested. The list of those stoned or awaiting death by stoning compiled by the International Committee against Executions can be found here.

Furthermore, contrary to the comments provided by the Islamic Sharia Council, stoning sentences are issued not only when there are four witnesses but also as a result of confession, thus explaining why Ms Ashtiani was forced to ‘confess’ on TV, clearly under duress.

The other important inaccuracy was that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been sentenced to execution for the murder of her husband. This was mentioned a number of times in the programme without providing information to the contrary.

In fact, Ms Ashtiani has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and not for murdering her husband. At a 30 July press conference in London, Mina Ahadi of the International Committee against Execution and International Committee against Stoning and I provided evidence of the stoning verdict. You can see a copy of the actual court judgment of stoning for adultery here.

Sakineh has never been found guilty of murdering her husband in an Iranian court. Even the man who was found guilty of her husband’s murder has not been executed. In Iran, under Diyeh laws, the family of the victim can ask for the death penalty to be revoked. Sakineh’s 22 year old son, Sajjad, explains why he and his 17 year old sister spared the man’s life in an interview with French writer and philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy.

The reason the Islamic regime of Iran is branding her a murderer and denying sentences of death by stoning for adultery is because of the international campaign in her defence and against the medieval and brutal punishment of stoning. It hopes to provide legitimacy for her execution now that it may not be able to stone her because of the public outcry. Unfortunately your programme has done the same.

Given that a woman’s life is at stake, it becomes all the more urgent for your programme to rectify its inaccuracies.

I look forward to your immediate response and action.

****

You can see an Executive Producer’s response and my reply here.

Notes:

1. The programme can be seen here until next Sunday and begins at 47.00 minutes.

You can see it here too since it won’t be available after 12 September 2010:

2. Every day from today until next Sunday’s programme, I will write a post on my blog addressing other issues raised in the debate, which never received a response.

3. For more information:
Maryam Namazie
BM Box 6754
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
maryamnamazie@gmail.com
www.maryamnamazie.com
maryamnamazie.blogspot.com

BBC’s misinformed and unbalanced debate on Stoning in Iran

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:

Sunday Morning Live
Blackstaff,39-43 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7EE
T: 028 9033 8379 M: 07875001606
anna.phipps@bbc.co.uk
lindsey.hammond@bbc.co.uk

If one breaks the law they must be punished!?!!

After sending out an email early this morning about Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case, I usually receive tons of mail from people showing solidarity and reporting back on what they have done to try to save her life. Of course I also get some ‘other’ types of emails too and I thought to start responding to them here in my blog publicly.

Aubrey Gaughan writes: ‘Sorry if one breaks the law they should be punished.’

Very nice.

Basically Aubrey is an advocate of Sakineh being stoned to death or executed for adultery because it is against the law in Iran. Girls should have acid thrown in their faces in Afghanistan then because the Taliban don’t want them to go to school. And prostitutes should be beheaded in Iraq and drug users, apostates, free thinkers and athiests executed under Sharia law because it is the law.

What nonesense. A law that violates rights isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

Lucky Aubrey wasn’t around when the slaves fought against slavery, the South Africans against racial apartheid and women’s rights campaigners for the the right to vote…

Much of the struggle for change and social justice has in fact targetted unjust laws and got rid of them. And thanks to these progressive social movements, we have many positive changes in our lives today as compared to years past.

Whether Aubrey likes it or not, this is what we intend to do with stoning and sexual apartheid in Iran and save Sakineh’s precious life as well. A law and regime that stones people to death in the 21st century has no right to exist and must be gotten rid of.

Iran stoning case says ‘they think they can do anything to women in this country’

Join 28 August action of 100 cities against stoning

Hello

Thanks so much for your support of the campaign to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from death by stoning and execution. The public outcry is what has kept her alive so far. When her 22 year old son Sajjad first wrote an open letter asking people everywhere to intervene there was no legal recourse left and she was to face imminent death by stoning for ‘adultery.’

In another letter written a few days ago, Sajjad reiterates Ashtiani’s innocence and says: ‘What sort of justice is this?’

The Islamic regime in Iran is doing everything it can to kill Ashtiani and push back the international campaign. The regime has harassed her children and put pressure on Ashtiani, most recently, forcing her to ‘confess’ on Iranian state television to having murdered her husband and committed adultery. [You can see the footage on Iranian State TV in Persian here, which also criticises the International Sakineh Day we had organised]

As her other lawyer Houtan Kian has said she was tortured into making the false ‘confession.’ He has recently provided detailed and new information on her case. This follows evidence provided at the 30 July press conference in London by Mina Ahadi of the International Committees against Execution and Stoning which revealed actual court documents showing Ashtiani’s sentence to death by stoning for adultery.

The regime had also arrested the wife, brother-in-law and father-in-law of her human rights lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei. They were subsequently released whilst Mostafaei was forced to flee the country in order to evade arrest. [He is now safe in Norway.]

They have even handed over her case for ‘review’ to deputy prosecutor-general Saeed Mortazavi, known as the butcher and torturer of Tehran.

As Ashtiani has said herself in an interview “The answer is quite simple, it’s because I’m a woman, it’s because they think they can do anything to women in this country.”

On 28 August 2010 – come out in 100 cities against stoning to show that the regime cannot to anything it wants to women. You can find out more about the events taking place on 28 August below and on how to organise your own event.

Join us! This must be the beginning of the end of stonings in the 21st century. And it must save Ashtiani’s precious life and reunite her with her beloved children.

Warmest wishes

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
Iran Solidarity Spokesperson
+44 (0) 7719166731
Email
Website
Blog

PLEASE ACT NOW!

1- Join a 100 cities against Stoning on 28 August 2010. You can find out about events taking place in a city near you on this list. The list can also be found here.

2- Find out more about how to organise your own event.

3- Join a forum for organisers of events and to raise questions and make comments.

4- Send Sakineh a postcard of the city you live in or are visiting this summer telling her you are thinking of her and other prisoners on death row in Tabriz prison. You can address it to:
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Tabriz Prison
Tabriz, Iran

5- Write letters of protest to the Islamic regime of Iran demanding Ashtiani’s release and an end to stonings and executions. Protest letters can be addressed to the below:

Head of the Judiciary
Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Email: info@dadiran.ir or via website
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Head of the Judiciary in East Azerbaijan Province
Malek-Ashtar Sharifi
Office of the Head of the Judiciary in Tabriz
East Azerbaijan, Iran

Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Iran
Email: via website:(English)
(Persian)

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email

6- Sign petitions in support of her case if you haven’t already done so. Here are two of them: ICAS and Avaaz.

7- Write to government officials, heads of state, MEPs and MPs in your country of residence calling on them to intervene to save her life and to cease recognition of a regime that stones people to death in the 21st century. See Mina Ahadi’s recent letter to heads of states on this.

8- Donate to the important work of the International Committee Against Stoning, International Committee Against Executions and Iran Solidarity by making your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and sending it to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal. Please earmark your donation.

Iran stoning case at imminent risk of execution

Iran stoning case, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is at imminent risk of execution in Tabriz prison.

Moreover, her well known human rights lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, is in prison in Turkey after having fled the country to evade arrest for his advocacy work. His wife remains in prison in Iran – held hostage – until he is remanded into the regime’s custody. Given Turkey’s close relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mostafaei can face deportation back to Iran even though he has applied for refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees there.

Campaigners are concerned about the safety of Mostafaei and his wife. We are also extremely concerned for Ashtiani’s life. The regime may be preparing to execute her within the next few days, particularly given that the Tabriz prosecutor has demanded her execution and is awaiting the Tehran high court’s confirmation.

In her most recent heart-wrenching message, she says:

“I am now quiet and sad because a part of my heart is frozen.

The day I was flogged in front of [my son] Sajjad, I was crushed and my dignity and heart were broken.

The day I was given the stoning sentence, it was as if I fell into a deep hole and I lost consciousness.

Many nights, before sleeping, I think to myself how can anybody be prepared to throw stones at me; to aim at my face and hands? Why?

I thank all of you from Tabriz Prison.

Mrs [Mina] Ahadi, tell everyone that I’m afraid of dying. Help me stay alive and hug my children.”

As a result the public outcry, Brazilian president Lula da Silva has offered Ashtiani asylum there. Ashtiani has accepted the offer. The regime, however, has rejected it and continues to push for her execution and to disseminate misinformation on her case. It says it intends not to stone her but to execute her for murdering her husband. At the 30 July press conference in London, Mina Ahadi exposed the regime’s misinformation on the case and revealed court documents showing Ashtiani’s sentence of death by stoning for adultery. [In fact, she was acquitted of any murder charges; even those found guilty of murdering her husband have not been executed at the request of the victim’s family.]

At the 30 July press conference, Maryam Namazie also refuted claims made by the embassy of the Islamic regime of Iran in London and the former French ambassador to Iran that stonings in Iran were rare; she referred to a new report published by the International Committee against Executions which has found that over 100 people have been stoned with 25 known cases currently awaiting death by stoning in Iran. Other speakers at the press conference AC Grayling spoke of the contradiction between a medieval government and a progressive population wanting to be free whilst Peter Tatchell stressed the importance of supporting Sakineh and all those languishing on death row.

Given the imminent risk of execution faced by Ashtiani and the insecure status of her lawyer in Turkey we urge the public to act now.

Ashtiani’s stoning and execution orders must be rescinded, she must be immediately released and there must be an end to stoning and executions.

PLEASE ACT NOW!

1- Send Sakineh a postcard of the city you live in or are visiting this summer telling her you are thinking of her and other prisoners on death row in Tabriz prison. You can address it to:
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Tabriz Prison
Tabriz, Iran

2- Write letters of protest to the Islamic regime of Iran demanding Ashtiani’s release and an end to stonings and executions. Protest letters can be addressed to the below:

Head of the Judiciary
Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Email or via website
First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address

Head of the Judiciary in East Azerbaijan Province
Malek-Ashtar Sharifi
Office of the Head of the Judiciary in Tabriz
East Azerbaijan, Iran

Sayed Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Iran
Via website (English)

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email

3- Sign petitions in support of her case if you haven’t already done so. Here are two of them: ICAS, Avaaz.

4- Write to government officials, heads of state, MEPs and MPs in your country of residence calling on them to intervene to save her life and to cease recognition of a regime that stones people to death in the 21st century. See Mina Ahadi’s recent letter to heads of states on this.

5- Write to the Turkish government asking them to release Mohammad Mostafaei and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Turkey urging them to grant him refugee status and expedite his resettlement to a safe third country.

Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Basbakanlik
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90-312-417 0476

Minister of Interior
Icisleri Bakanligi
06644 Ankara
Fax: +90 312 417 23 90

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Disisleri Bakanligi
06100 Ankara
Fax: +90 312 419 1547
Email

UNHCR – Branch Office in Turkey
Tiflis Cad. 552. Sok. No: 3
Sancak Mah. 06550 Ankara
Turkey
Fax: +90 312 441 21 73
Via website

6- Donate to the important work of the International Committee Against Stoning, International Committee Against Executions and Iran Solidarity by making your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and sending it to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal. Please earmark your donation.

NOTES:

* See footage of 30 July press conference in London here. Also see press coverage here.

* See clip of Islamic Republic’s state TV’s misinformation on the 24 July International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Day protests we organised and Ashtiani’s case. The regime blurs out her face, uses only her initials and says she was sentenced to execution for brutally murdering her husband. A translation of the court document sentencing her to death by stoning for adultery is available here which refutes their statements on her case.

* See a report of the successful 24 July International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Day and press coverage here.

* For more information contact:
Mina Ahadi, Germany, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions Coordinator, Email, 0049 1775692413.

Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, Email, 0044 7719166731, Iran Solidarity website and blog.