Wednesday, 11 August 2010

An Iranian woman, stoning and Venezuela

For some months the world has heard about Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year old woman of the Azeri-speaking minority accused by the Iranian regime of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. She was first sentenced to whipping in 2006 for "illicit relationship" with two men after the death of her husband and went through the punishment soon afterwards. She then was sent again to trail during the process of the men involved in the killing of her husband. She said she had been tortured for the confession and that she does not speak Farsi. She was going to be executed by stoning in July 2010 but the campaign carried out by one of her children stopped the execution for a time. Her initial lawyer went into hiding and is now a refugee in Norway. Lula da Silva, a friend of Akhmadinejad, asked him to grant Ms Ashtiani assylum, but the Iranian rejected the plea. They said da Silva did not know the case well.

Last week The Guardian managed to get an
interview through a middle person and there Ms Ashtiani said the Iranian regime is constructing new charges to pave the way for her execution.

Yesterday the state channel transmitted a broadcast where Ashtiani herself reads out, with trembling voice, a "confession". The way the confession took place makes people believe it was product of torture, a horribly common practice in Iran. International organizations as Amnesty International fear the imminent execution of Ms Ashtiani. As a Venezuelan I am profoundly shocked. Opposition parties and NGOs protested against the imminent execution of Ashtiani in front of the Iranian embassy. I suppose Chávez et alia will dismiss this all as politics and he will say he does not intervene in other nation's affairs. I would tell him: call it as you want, but do something. Please, intercede for this woman's life. We are talking about the most basic human rights. If you want to read more about human rights in Iran, you can take a look at Amnesty's reports here.


  1. This is the kind of shit that drives me mad. They always pull the cultural relativity card on these ones -but it's not "another country's affairs": It's the hainous execution of a human being. They cry and shout about Guantánamo (and right they are- that's another story) but they can't even stand up to defend someone being STONED to death.
    I guess massive gassing of jews was also an "internal affair", eh?

  2. They will talk about Guantanamo, executions in the US and so on but they will remain indeed very very quiet when it comes to Iranians stoning people...for strategic reasons, you know.

    It is disgusting.

  3. On a related topic:



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