Keep the pressure on until we end stoning and save Sakine
Mina Ahadi’s rebuttal of the press release issued by the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London on the stoning case
8 July 2010
With regards to the 8 July 2010 press release issued by the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London on the stoning sentence of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani:
1. The Islamic Republic of Iran has retreated to some extent due to international pressure and widespread coverage received by the international campaign to save Sakine’s life. The main aim of the embassy’s press release, however, is to create doubt and detract from the campaign to save Sakine and others sentenced to death by stoning and execution.
2. Still the press release is a clear confirmation of the barbaric act of stoning saying only that the regime rarely carries out such sentences! The International Committee Against Executions and Stoning has a list of 13 people languishing for years in prison awaiting death by stoning. The real numbers are much higher.
3. The embassy’s press release says Sakine will not be stoned but it does not say what fate awaits her. They may execute her instead. The regime has retreated from stoning on a number of occasions in the past but has executed the accused instead. The execution of Abdulla Farivar in Sari prison for the alleged crime of sex outside of marriage is a case in point. Therefore, Sakine’s life is still in danger.
4. The aim of the campaign to save Sakine Ashtiani Mohammadi is for an official rescinding of her stoning and execution sentence and her unconditional release. Sex outside of marriage and the sexual relations of adults is their private affair. It is not a crime and must never be prosecuted.
5. The Islamic Republic of Iran must officially rescind the stoning and execution sentences of Sakine and all those facing stoning and execution and end the inhuman and barbaric punishment of stoning and execution.
6. Even this limited retreat is a success for Sakine and her children Sajjad and Faride as well as all the activists of the campaign against executions and stoning and decent people everywhere. Our campaign has shown that we can force the regime to back down. The embassy’s press release will not stop us from intensifying our powerful campaign. The retreat, however limited, has shown that the regime is under pressure.
I congratulate all those who have joined and supported our campaign for this limited success. I ask however that you step up your efforts for Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, Mohammad Reza Hadadi (juvenile offender awaiting imminent execution), Zeinab Jalalian (sentenced to death for ‘enmity against God’) and others awaiting execution and stoning. Our pressure is working. We must intensify it until we secure a victory for the people of Iran by saving the lives of Sakine and others. We mustn’t stop until we deprive the regime in Iran of this tool for suppression and murder.
International Committee against Stoning and Execution
8 July 2010
1. For more information, contact:
2. The London embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s press release on the matter can be found below:
In the Name of God
Considering the statements made by the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt on an Iranian national, Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, and her execution, hereby this mission denies the false news aired in this respect and notifies the Ministry that according to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran, she will not be executed by stoning punishment. It is notable that this kind of punishment has rarely been implemented in Iran and various means and remedies must be probed and exhausted to finally come up with such a punishment.
It should be added that the stoning punishment has not been cited in the draft Islamic Penal Code being deliberated in the Iranian Parliament.
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran highly recommends that news and reports should not be taken for granted and considered a reliable source of information for official statements or misjudgements.
July 8, 2010