News / Middle East

Iranian Plans to Execute Woman for Adultery Unclear

An Iranian demonstrator holds a picture of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani as she protests in front of the EU Council in Brussels. About 50 protestors asked for action from the EU to save Ashtiani from being stoned to death in Iran, 3 Nov 2010.
An Iranian demonstrator holds a picture of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani as she protests in front of the EU Council in Brussels. About 50 protestors asked for action from the EU to save Ashtiani from being stoned to death in Iran, 3 Nov 2010.

Recent reports have warned that Iran was preparing to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to be stoned for adultery.  But her lawyer tells VOA he believes the information is incorrect. And French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also says he has received assurances that there are no immediate plans to execute the woman. 

Recently the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced by the Iranian judiciary to be stoned to death for adultery, has again made headlines in the West, with reports saying she would soon be executed.

Human-rights groups and ordinary citizens who sympathize with her plight protested her case in many Western cities, earlier this year.

Ashtiani's son and daughter attracted the attention of Western news organizations to their mother's sentence, complaining it was unjust and urging Iran to review it. Then Brazilian President Ignacio Lula da Silva even offered Ashtiani asylum in his country if Iran would accept.

Last July, Iranian TV tried to justify the sentence, interviewing Ashtiani, who claimed to be guilty.  In the interview she even begged Iranian authorities to hang her.  Both her family and her former attorney Mohammed Mostafaei insisted that she had "confessed" under "extreme duress." 

Attorney Mohammed Mostafaei, who lives in exile in Norway, tells VOA he contacted a number of Iranian judiciary officials recently and was told a report that Sakineh Ashtiani would be hanged soon was not correct.

"This news was wrong.  I called my friends in Iran ...  I have some friends in the Iranian judiciary in Tabriz and I talked about this news and they said the news is not true and they informed me that there is not any hanging execution in Sakineh's case.  There is only a stoning punishment," Mostafaei said.

In addition to the woman's lawyer, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says he received assurances from Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that no final verdict has been reached in the woman's case.

Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says the Iranian judiciary had "stepped up its executions" at Mashhad's Vakilabad prison, but he has been "unable to confirm" reports Ashtiani was about to be hanged.  He said at least 23 prisoners were reportedly hanged in recent days, without any announcement by Iranian judicial authorities.

Ghaemi says Iran has "doubled the number of executions it normally conducts" in recent months and is now second only to China in its per-capita execution rate.

The head of Iran's official human-rights organization, Mohammed Larijani, recently insisted Tehran is being "unfairly targeted" for its human-rights abuses.  He claimed, "Abuses in Iranian prisons are only isolated cases."

Families of Iranian political prisoners, as well as former political prisoners, have repeatedly complained to VOA about the appalling conditions in many Iranian prisons, including Tehran's Evin Prison and Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.  A facility at Kahrizak was ordered closed after several young detainees were reportedly tortured to death in 2009.

One Iranian political prisoner who wrote an open letter, earlier this year, describing his conditions of detention at the overcrowded Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, described life there as a "hell and human catastrophe."

He wrote of "naked and sweaty bodies, red with lice bites," living amid "dirty, polluted air, the smell of rotten trash, sewage from clogged toilets, dried vomit from food poisoning, and mucus from infected throats."

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs