Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Hunger Strike of a Number of Iranian Asylum Seekers in Athens

Open letter to the Greek government
One of Them Has Stitched His Lips Together

A group of Iranian refugees have been on hunger strike since July 25 in front of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Athens after a meeting with the Greek Deputy Minister for the Interior. They were told by the Deputy Minister that Greece cannot grant them refugee status due to the very close, friendly relations between Iran and his country. He also said that there were over 3 thousand Iranian asylum seekers in Greek prisons for having committed crimes.

The unbearable condition of asylum seekers in Greece is no secret to anyone in the least familiar with refugee questions around the world. They enjoy no benefits except for a red card, to be renewed every 6 months, as proof of their temporary residence in the country. The police treatment of them seems to be unspeakable. Dozens are said to be beaten and/or dishonored, and those in detention centers brutalized, by the police on a daily basis.

The IFIR is making every effort to bring the plight of the asylum seekers in Greece to the attention of the world, including millions of Iranian refugees and immigrants. The plights of individuals such as Reza Kamaali, Hosein Rostami, Sa’id Mahmoodi, Mohammad Azimi, Abdollah Bakhtiaari, Amir-Hosein Abdolmaleki, Faraj Gholaami, Saadegh Faraahaani are real and must be objected to by all conscious people across the world. The Greek government must be condemned for its treatment of refugees. The scenes of the Iranian refugees’ hunger strike, in general, and that of Saadegh Faraahaani’s sewed lips, in particular, are so distressing that make any human being’s hair stand on end.

The IFIR calls on all human rights organizations, the Greek people and all Iranians living abroad to show compassion for the striking refugees and support their demands. Iranian refugees around the world have fled the atrocious regime of Islamic Republic. They have fled a regime with pre-medieval laws and tribunals that sentence human beings to dismemberment, stoning, gouging of the eye, and a whole catalogue of other barbaric punishments unheard of in the modern world. They have fled a regime that executes children, homosexuals, ‘apostates’, ‘renegades’, ‘heretics’, ‘infidels’, believers in other faiths, dissenters, and so on, and so for forth. They have fled a regime that tolerates no degree of political dissent. They have fled a regime that shoots to kill peaceful demonstrators or runs them over and murder them with its police trucks in broad daylight and in front of thousands of cameras. They have fled a regime that atrociously tortures political prisoners for extraction of fake confessions. In short, they have fled a regime of murderers, indeed. That is why the striking asylum seekers in Athens are worthy of our most hear-felt support.

Nevertheless, the IFIR does not believe in hunger strike as an appropriate way out of the harsh refugee physical and emotional conditions. Those who choose hunger strike as a method of struggle have simply lost their hope and vision of a better life and opt for this method as a last resort, whereas, in any struggle, the goal must be clear from the beginning. It must be clear beforehand why we go on hunger strike, that is, it must be clear what we intend to achieve in terms of the change we want to bring about in our life. Again, in any struggle, the starting and the ending points must planned in advance. Refugees become refugees in order to save their life and guarantee their survival. Whereas a hunger strike for an unknown period of time can harm a refugee’s body and soul in ways that may never heal as long as s/he will live.

The IFIR, calls, therefore, on the striking asylum seekers in Athens to end their hunger strike in order to preserve their stamina to continue their struggles. We implore Saadegh Faraahaani, in particular, to get his stitches removed by a doctor, and to carry on his campaign employing less costly methods. At the same time we assure all asylum seekers in Greece that the IFIR will support your legitimate, humane demands with everything in its organizational and social power.

Sincerely,

Abdollah Asadi
Secretary
International Federation of Iranian Refugees
31 July, 2010





IFRS

Box 11103 404 23 Göteborg

Orgnr: 802400-9216

Besökadress: Linnegatan21

(Hagabion-ViktoriahusetA)
www.ifrs.se

www.hambastegi.org

Tel.: 031-453346

Plusgiro 200974-4
abe.asadi@glocalnet.net

Tel: 073 717 88 19

Press coverage on 30 July press conference on Iran stoning case

To see Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie's interview in Persian with Voice of America on the 30 July press conference and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's case, click here or see below:

video

Some of the other press coverage of the press conference:



Iranian with stoning sentence tormented, AP, 31 July 2010

Iranian woman facing stoning says 'I'm afraid of dying,' CNN, 31 July 2010

Iran mother facing stoning pleads to see children, AFP, 31 July 2010

Iran Stoning case asks to be reunited with her children, The Guardian, 30 July 2010

Campaign to Stop stoning, Fox New, 30 July 2010

Friday, 30 July 2010

Help me stay alive and hug my children

Report on press conference on Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

To see video footage of the press conference, click here.

On Friday 30 July 2010, a press conference was held in London on the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of the International Committee against Executions and International Committee against Stoning read out the latest message from Sakineh:

I’m Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. From Tabriz Prison I thank all those who are thinking of me.

I went to school until the 5th grade. After I was married I had two children, and all my hopes are on them.

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


Mina Ahadi also provided new evidence and information on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case as well as other cases sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. The new documentation refuted statements by the Islamic Republic of Iran that they did not intend to stone her to death. It also refuted a report shown at the press conference of a recent broadcast of the Islamic Republic of Iran's News agency on the 24 July International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Day protests and Sakineh's case. The report can be seen below in Persian:

video

Writer AC Grayling spoke of the contradiction between a medieval government and a progressive population wanting to be free whilst human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell stressed the importance of supporting Sakineh and all those languishing on death row. Iran Solidarity Spokesperson Maryam Namazie 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.

A statement signed by 47 well-known personalities and organisations calling for an end to the harassment of Sakineh’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafei and the release of his wife and brother-in-law was also issued.

The speakers ended their statements by calling for Sakineh’s stoning and execution orders to be rescinded and for her release and for an end to stoning and executions. The press conference, which was chaired by Iran Secular Society Director Fariborz Pooya finished at 12pm after which the panellists were interviewed by major media outlets present.

Here are a few photos of the press conference:



International Committee Against Executions
International Committee Against Stoning
Iran Solidarity

For more information contact:

Mina Ahadi, Germany, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions Coordinator, minaahadi@aol.com, 0049 1775692413; http://notonemoreexecution.org/, http://stopstonningnow.com

Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, iransolidaritynow@gmail.com, 0044 7719166731, Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk.

Islamic regime of Iran's broadcast on 24 July protests for International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Day

The Islamic Republic of Iran's News agency criticised the 24 July International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Day protests. You can see a clip of the report below. It doesn't even mention Sakineh's name other than to call her S.M. and blurs her photo. It also says she brutally killed her husband which is why they say she is being sentenced to death.

Their misinformation about the campaign and Sakine's case was refuted at the 30 July press conference. First off, stoning is a sentence for adultery not murder; secondly we presented the judgement on her case there. It clearly states death by stoning for adultery!

video

Here is the translation of the court document showing she has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery:

The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
JUDGMENT

Judgement ref no. 38 - 85/6/19
[Persian date included in the ref no. 10 September 2006]

Case reference number: 94 - 84/6 Province Criminal [Court]
Reference number of the Head Penal Office: 237 - 84/11/18
Authority dealing with the case: Branch 6 of the Penal Court of East Azarbaijan Province
Plaintiff: Honourable Prosecutor of the General and Revolutionary Court of Tabriz

Accused: Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, daughter of Asqar, of Tabriz address (Tabriz Prison), represented by…

Type of charge: Adultery [Zena-ye Mohseneh]

Due to disagreement among the members of the court, the verdict of the majority is given as follows; that of the minority, following consultation, is given in a separate sheet:

(The verdict of the majority)

In this case, Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, born 1968, resident of Oskoo, daughter of Asqar, is accused of committing adultery with stranger men. Given the contents of the case and the form of the complaint of the children of the accused and of her murdered husband Mr Ebrahim Ghaderzadeh, the form of the report by the security forces, and the clear confessions of the above-named … such that it seems that the main motive of the above-named in murdering her husband with the help of one of the stranger men … has been to have illicit relations with [such] men and her severely corrupt mind, as well as other indications and evidences all of which indicate the committing of the crime of adultery, have led the majority of the court to arrive at knowledge [tahsil e elm], and [thus] with reference to Clauses 63, 83 and 105 of the Islamic Penal Law, the majority of the court sentences Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, daughter of Asqar, to stoning [rajm] on the charge of adultery (with stranger men repeatedly). This verdict can be appealed to the Supreme Court within 20 days from the date of this verdict.

Judge and Advisers Eemani, Seyf Ahmadi, Musavi

(The verdict of the minority)

Apart from the fact that Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani ... who per judgment no. 114 of 17 May 2006 has been sentenced to 99 lashes on the charge of having an illicit relationship with [names of men] ... which according to her has been administered and this case has been heard in the Court of the Province for the charge of adultery … with [names of men] ... as long as that sentence is not revoked, the accused cannot be prosecuted, since a person is prosecuted only once for the same offence. Thus prosecution in this case has no legal justification as no positive religious or legal evidence can be found … (confession or witness testimony) and the indications in the case are not customary ways of [the judge] arriving at knowledge [tahsil e elm]. So the above-named is believed to be innocent of the charge.

Minority members of Branch 6 of the Penal Court of the Province
Kazemi and Hamdollahi


Translated by International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Execution: http://notonemoreexecution.org/, http://stopstonningnow.com.

Here is Maryam Ghorbanzadeh's sentence of death by stoning:

The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
JUDGMENT

Branch 12 of the Penal Court of East Azarbaijan Province

Ref no. of Judgment: 8809974127200029
Case ref no. 8709984127200045
Archive no. 870045
Date: 5 July 2010

Plaintiff: Report of …
Accused: Mrs Maryam Ghorbanzadeh represented by … of Tabriz address …
Charge: Adultery



(Majority Verdict)

With regard to the charge of Mrs Maryam Ghorbanzadeh, daughter of Golmohammad, that she committed adultery, the majority of the court, having considered all the papers of the case including investigations by court officers into the murder of the partner of the accused and the words of the accused regarding planning for murder and having sexual relations with the murderer and adulterer Mr Behzad Rasoolzadegh, and having watched the film of the sex scene between the accused [female] and the accused [male] and the fact that the defence of the accused [female] claiming that her partner had not slept with her for two years and had no sexual desires for her and would only say that he did not feel like it, and since until that date the accused [female] had not said anything about this and the words of the adulterer [male] in a recent session of this court contradict the words of the accused [female], thus the majority of the members of the court, given what has been stated, arrive at knowledge and certainty that the accused [female] despite the fact that her partner was available to her [had ehsan] nevertheless chose to commit adultery, and invoking Sections 83 (Clause B) and 105 of the Islamic Penal Law, sentences the accused [female] to stoning [rajm], and finally declares that given the general policy of the Judiciary and the guidelines issued regarding consideration of whether it is expedient in such cases to change the sentence to execution by other means, the sentence of stoning is changed to execution by hanging in the prison yard. The sentence can be appealed to the Supreme Court in person within 20 days from the date on which it was passed.

Head [of the Court] Ali Amini and Advisers of Branch 12 of the Penal Court of East Azarbaijan Province


Translated by International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Execution: http://notonemoreexecution.org/, http://stopstonningnow.com.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Iran must end harassment of leading human rights lawyer on stoning case

We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned to learn that the whereabouts of leading human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei is unknown and that his wife, Fereshteh Halimi, and brother-in-law, Farhad Halimi, have been arrested on 24 July by the Iranian authorities. Mostafaei is the lawyer of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani who has been sentenced to death by stoning for ‘adultery.’

Last week Mostafaei was issued a summons requiring him to present himself to Evin prison; he did so on 24 July. He was interrogated and released but received a further summons by telephone. Later that day, his wife and brother-in-law were arrested and remain in prison in order to exert pressure on Mostafaei to turn himself in. Scores of human rights defenders have been harassed or arrested in Iran with some being sentenced to death. Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad, who has appealed on her behalf has also faced interrogation and harassment.

We call on the Islamic regime of Iran to immediately release Mostafaei’s family and end its harassment of Mostafaei and Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son Sajjad. We also demand that Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s stoning and execution orders be rescinded and that she be released.

Signed:

Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions (Germany); Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All (UK); Shahla Abgari, Human Rights Activist (USA); Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Stop Child Executions (Canada); Louis Altman, attorney (UK); Helle Merete Brix, Journalist and Writer (Denmark); Nick Brown, Barrister (UK); Roma Ciesla, Polish Women's Lobby (Poland); Ewa Dabrowska-Szulc, Pro Femina Association (Poland); Malgorzata Danicka, 8 March Agreement (Poland); Richard Dawkins, Scientist (UK); Laura Dubinsky, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Francis FitzGibbon, QC (UK); Isabella Forshall, QC (UK); Margaret Gordon, Christian Khan Law Solicitors (UK); AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher (UK); Laura Guidetti, Marea Association (Italy); Maria Hagberg, Network against Honour-Related Violence (Sweden); Helen Heenan, JP (UK); Katrine Winkel Holm, Sappho (Denmark); Phillippa Kaufmann, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Hope Knutsson, Sidmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Iceland); Katarzyna Kopystyńska, Democratic Union of Women and Federation Polish Women's Lobby (Poland); Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, High Court Advocate (Pakistan); Malgorzata Lesniak, Polish Rationalist Association (Poland); Mel Lipman, Lawyer (USA); Anne-marie Lizin, Belgian Senate Honorary Speaker (Belgium); Peter Lownds, Barrister (UK); Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women's Issue (France); Mohamed Mahmoud, Centre for Critical Studies of Religion (UK); Kate Markus, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Behnaz Parman, Artist (Germany); Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters (UK); David Pollock, European Humanist Federation (UK); Eloise Power, Doughty Street Chambers (UK); Eva Quistorp, MEP ad and Women for Peace (Germany); Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner (UK); Carla Revere, Lawyers Secular Society (UK); Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran (USA); Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society (UK); Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative (Poland); Issam Shukri, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq (Canada); Elizabeth Sidney, Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality (UK); Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker (India); Richy Thompson, National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (UK); Anne Marie Waters, One Law for All Legal Team (UK); and Women in Black (Serbia).

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

30 July 2010 Press Conference and Emergency Meeting on Iran stoning case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Press Release
For Immediate Distribution
27 July 2010

On Friday 30 July 2010, Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of the International Committee against Executions and International Committee against Stoning, is to provide new evidence and information on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case as well as other cases sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. Other speakers include writer AC Grayling, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson Maryam Namazie and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

The press conference and emergency meeting is to take place at the Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL at 11.00am-12.00pm.

The meeting is open to the public.


For more information or to reserve a place, please contact:


Maryam Namazie
iransolidaritynow@gmail.com
+44 (0) 7719166731
International Committee Against Executions: http://notonemoreexecution.org
International Committee Against Stoning: http://stopstonningnow.com
Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk

Monday, 26 July 2010

Family of Sakine's lawyer arrested; no word about Mostafaie

Press Release No. 26
July 25, 2010

The Wife and brother-in-law of Mohamad Mostafaei, Sakine’s lawyer, arrested

No word about Mostafaei himself

As we reported earlier, Mr. Mostafaei, Sakine’s lawyer, was summoned to the Mininstry of Intelligence at Evin Prison. He presented himself there yesterday. A post on his weblog later informed the public that the authorities at Evin prison had questioned him about some financial issues. Some time after he left the prison the authorities called him and asked him to present himself once again. However, a short while after they went to his office to arrest him. Mr. Mostafaai was not there but his wife and his brother-in-law were arrested, instead, somewhere near the office.

The whereabouts of Mr. Mostafaie is currently unknown. According to our sources, his office has been sealed off by the authorities.

We have not yet been able to identify the prison where Mr. Mostafaei’s wife and brother-in-law are currently held.

The Islamic Republic, under the intense pressure of the world public opinion against the stoning sentence of Sakine, has now targeted her lawyer and put him under pressure. The interrogation over financial issues, specifically, is one of the regime’s customary ways to begin a charge-fabricating process. The Islamic Republic is trying, with everything in its power, to cut off the relations between Sakine and her family, on the one side, and her lawyer and the public opinion, on the other.

The International Committee Against Execution strongly condemns such persecutions as those executed by the Islamic Republic against Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani's lawyer, Mr. Mostafaei, and his family. We urge all human rights organisations to take action as soon as possible and demand the immediate release of Mr. Mostafaei's wife and brother-in-law. The Islamic Republic must be forced to stop harassing and intimidating Mr. Mostafaei and others like him in their legal efforts to pursue justice.

International Committee Against Execution
July 25, 2010

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Media Coverage of 24 July 2010 World Citizens against Stoning

Worldwide protest against Iran Stoning, Euronews

Protests held worldwide against stoning of Iranian woman, CNN

Iran urged to free jailed woman, AlJazeera

World rallies for Iranian woman sentenced to death, BBC News

Ashtiani death sentence protestors hold London rally, BBC News

Protestors rally for Iranian woman, CNN Video

CBC Canada of demonstration in Toronto, Canada

Worldwide rallies for Iranian Woman sentenced to death, Radio Free Europe

Rallies held for jailed Iranian woman, Kenya Broadcasting

International Sakine Day, Fox News

Global support for woman condemned to death for adultery, Herald Scotland

BBC 5 Live radio interview (from 9 and a half minutes in)

24 July a huge success

International Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Day: World Citizens against Stoning was a huge success. On the day, thousands of people took part in actions in over 30 cities worldwide, including in Australia, Brazil, North America, Europe, Georgia and the Phillipines.

In Venice, Italy, see Mina Ahadi's speech and photos of the action there.

Here is footage from the action taken in Georgia.

In Paris, France, the Ligue du droit international des Femmes (LDIF) and Mouvement Pour la Paix et Contre le Terrorisme handed in a letter of protest at 2pm at the Islamic regime of Iran's embassy.

In Tolouse, France, on 23 July afternoon at the PLACE DU CAPITOLE activists distibuted 400 tracts against stoning.

In Sussex, UK, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell dedicated the Honorary Doctorate he received from Sussex University for 43 years of human rights activism to in the following manner: "I dedicate my acceptance of this honorary doctorate to the people of Iran who are struggling against clerical dictatorship, for democracy and freedom. In particular, Mansour Osanloo, the jailed Iranian trade union leader, and Sakineh Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to be stoned to death, along with more than 20 other Iranians."

In London, UK hundreds joined in at the event in Trafalgar Square, which was covered by all major outlets, including BBC News, CNN, Aljazeera, ITN, AP, Sunday Times. There were also actions at Royal Holloway and Richmond. In the UK, there were also events in Birmingham and Edinburgh and Chichester.

In Springwood, Australia, hundreds of signatures were collected in support of Sakine.

You can see the action in Stockholm, Malmo and Gotenberg Sweden here.

Here is footage from Ottawa and Vancouver Canada.

Here are some photos from the Frankfurt, Berlin and Bremen Germany actions.

Here is the action in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Here's footage from Oslo, Norway.

Here's some photos of the action in Vienna, Austria.

Here's the Washington DC Action.

In New York, USA, one of the signatories of the open letter calling for Sakine Day, Shahla Abghari, distributed the open letter at a conference on Secular democracy in New York and also amongst the public.

A large number of internet actions took place too, including on Facebook, Youtube and also on various blogs, including on Gianni Verdovila's blog, on teacher Jamie Crespo's blog and on the Secular Humanist League of Brazil's website. Sabnamzendeh sent in her poem on women for the day. Cat MacTier and Rhett Schofield designed the official posters for the day and Pete produced a video for the day on Youtube.

Others mentioned Sakine's Day at their events. The Central London Humanists met at 2pm and read out our message about Sakine's Day in Kensington Gardens at their annual summer picnic. All voiced solidarity with her and all the others who are suffering under the despotic cruelty of the current regime in Iran. Brendan Maher sent messages to politicians in Ireland on Sakine's case on the day.

We will continue posting any reports we receive so do send them in to us.

Media coverage will be posted separately.

A huge thanks to all those who participated on this day in order to save Sakine and to condemn the barbaric acts of stoning and execution.

International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Iran Solidarity
Mission Free Iran

24 July Vienna Austria action



24 July Amsterdam action

24 July 2010 Frankfurt, Berlin and Bremen action

Frankfurt






















Here are the actions in Berlin joined by CODE e.V. above and Bremen below:


24 July action in Oslo, Norway



24 July Stockholm, Malmo and Gotenberg

Stockholm, Sweden













Photos of Malmo above and Gotenberg below:


24 July Springwood Australia action


24 July London, Royal Holloway and Richmond actions

Below are some photos and video footage from London. You can also see more photos here and here.

video


Royal Holloway students and activists in Richmond did the above actions.

24 July Paris Action

See video footage here and photos below:

24 July Georgia Action

24 July Venice Action

24 July Edinburgh and Birmingham

In Edinburgh, Scotland the Anti-Injustice Movement, gathered almost 100 signatures in support of Sakine:





















In Birmingham, UK, leaflets were handed out to passersby iat the steps of the central library below. Salma Yaqoob (MP for Sparkbrook) joined in and wrote about it on her blog.





24 July Chichester UK action

Here is a photo from the action in Chichester, UK:

.

24 July New York City action

In New York, USA, one of the signatories of the open letter calling for Sakine Day, Shahla Abghari, distributed the open letter at a conference on Secular democracy in New York and also amongst the public. Here is a photo:

24 July Actions in Canada

Here is footage from Vancouver, Canada:


Here is more footage:

I am with Sakineh

Here are the speeches.

Signing the petition.

Clip of pictures.

Here are photos from Ottawa, Canada:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Message of Gratitude from Mina Ahadi

To all those working to save the life of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani life worldwide:
Not just Sakine but the whole humanity needs your endeavors!

How magnificent it is to see hundreds of thousands of people across the world have their heart set on the fate of a woman languishing in a prison in Iran. How delightful it is to see that within the short span of only three weeks Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiaani, an unknown woman, has become one the most famous women in the world with a renewed glimmer hope in her heart - all thanks to the endeavors of the innumerable people who represented humanity in this matter.

Dear friends,

Here I would like to, firstly, thank each and every one of you on behalf of the International Committee against Stoning and the International Committee against Execution for your invaluable efforts and, secondly, touch upon a few points regarding the significance of your magnificent work and its achievements.

1- Sakine was saved from being stoned to death thanks to a global effort triggered off by her children. I hope it will continue until Sakine is released from prison.

2- International pressure on the Islamic Republic has already forced it into caution as far as the execution of stoning and hanging sentences is concerned. Although it needs murder, in general, and the death penalty, in particular, as essential prerequisites for its survival, efforts such as yours do limit the quantity of its crimes.

3- The regime has been considerably more disgraced and despised. We have been trying our utmost for the past three decades to relate to the people of the world what it is doing to the people in Iran, and today, more than ever, the world sympathize with them and their struggles to get rid of it. This is extremely valuable and helpful as far as the Iranian people are concerned.

4- Thanks to your efforts the regime has been extensively exposed. That parameter has made it harder for the governments that had been on its side all along, actively as well as passively with their silence about its crimes, to carry out their wheeling and dealing. The latter has a direct, positive bearing on the struggles of the Iranian people.

5- The total abolition of capital punishment is one of the most vital demands of the people in Iran. Since its inception in February 1979, the Islamist regime has summarily tried about one hundred thousand loved ones of ours in a fashion that no honorable person can possibly call “trial” and then executed them - by firing squad, hanging and stoning - for political opposition, for being free thinkers, for believing in other faiths, for atheism, apostasy, heresy, adultery, and so on, and so forth. Execution is a central pillar of this regime, and fighting execution is therefore a central pillar of the people’s struggle against it. By raising the banner of the abolition of stoning and execution in the past few weeks you rose up, indeed, in defense of this humanist demand of the people of Iran.

6- Most importantly, vast networks of activists were formed as a result of your work. One can hope that in future they will stand up to each case of stoning or execution more strongly and proficiently and that by doing so they will help the Iranian people more effectively in their on-going humane struggle to rid themselves of this regime of religious savagery. I assure you that you have strengthened the hope and the possibility of this tremendous task for the people in Iran as well as around the world. You took this totally humane struggle aimed at the overthrowing this regime and building a free, equal and humane society in its place a great step forward. So treasure the networks you created and strengthen them ever more!

I shake the hand of each and every one you and hope that your struggles increasingly grow in strength and organization so that they can play an ever more effective role alongside those of the oppressed people of Iran.

Mina Ahadi
Spokesperson
International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution
July 19, 2010

Friday, 23 July 2010

Rallies and events for International Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Day

Below are rallies and events organised for International Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Day: World Citizens against Stoning. If you are organising something in your area, please email us at iransolidaritynow@gmail.com.
Updated: 24 July

Leaflet for distribution on 24 July 2010

Press release for distribution about 24 July 2010

Posters for distribution on 24 July 2010. Posters were made by Cat MacTier and Rhett Schofield.



AUSTRALIA

Springwood, New South Wales
24 July 2010
Time: 10:30am
Place: Town Square

Sydney
24 July 2010
Time: 1400pm
Place: QVB (Town Hall end near statue)
Please join me in holding an informal protest handing out flyers.
Contact: Kathryn, 0439 309 080

AUSTRIA

Vienna
24 July 2010
Time: 17:00pm
Place: St. Stephan’s Platz
Contact: maria.rohaly@gmail.com

BRAZIL

24 July 2010
Time: 14:00
Place: Secular Humanist League of Brazil will post their protest online.

CANADA

Ottawa
24 July 2010
Time: 12:00 noon to 15:00
Place: In front of Parliament Hill

Toronto
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00 to 16:00
Place: In front of CBC News, 250 Front St. West of Spadina Ave.

Vancouver
24 July 2010
Time: Information Table from 14:00pm; rally at 17:00pm
Place: In front of Art Gallery on Robson Street
Contact: 604 727 8986

GEORGIA

Tbilisi
24 July 2010
Time: 13.00-15.00
Place: In front of the Embassy of Iran (address: 80. Tchavchavadze Ave)

FRANCE

Paris
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00
Place: Iranian Embassy in Paris
Ligue du Droit International des Femmes will submit a letter of protest.

Tolouse
23 July 2010
Time: afternoon
Place: Place du Capitole

GERMANY

Berlin
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00
Place: Gedächtniskirche
Contact: 017624866317

Bremen
24 July 2010
Time: 15:00-18:00
Place: Marktplatz in city centre
Contact: 0172-4037035

Cologne
24 July 2010
Time: 14.00
Place: Dom Plate
Contact: 01774844495

Frankfurt
24 July 2010
Time: 19.30
Place: Haupt Wache in City Centre
Contact: 015781688732

ITALY

Venice
24 July 2010
Time: 11.00am
Place: Parco di Villa Franchin
Viale Garibaldi 155

NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00pm
Place: Beurs Plein
Contact: 0651273261

NORWAY

Oslo
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00pm
Place: In front of the Parliament

PHILIPPINES
Manila
24 July 2010
Time: Around noon
Place: Iranian embassy compound
Contact: Marshal Shokouhi, (+63) 0919 688 97 41

SWEDEN

Borås
24 July 2010
Time: 14.00-16.00
Place: Stortorget
Contact: 0737-598566

Gothenburg
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00-16:00pm
Place: Brunnsparken
Contact: Abe Assadi, 0737- 17 88 19

Malmö
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00-16:00pm
Place: Davidshalls Bron between Triangeln and Gustav Adolfs torg
Contact: Farideh Arman, 070-363 80 88

Stockholm
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00-16:00pm
Place: Mynttorget
Contact: Mamad Amiri, 0737- 80 15 10

UK

Birmingham
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00
Place: In front of central library

Chichester
24 July 2010
Time: 14.00
Place: Town Centre, East Street, in front of the old Boots shop

Egham
23 July 2010
Time: 18:00
Place: Royal Holloway College, University of London
South Quad, Founders Building, Egham, Surrey

London
24 July 2010
Time: 14.00-16.00
Place: Trafalgar Square

Richmond
24 July 2010
Time: 11.30am
Place: Outside Richmond Railway Station, Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey

USA

Dallas
24 July 2010
Time: 18.00-20.00
Place: Corner of Houston and Alem, Downtown

New York City
24 July 2010
Time: 14:00
Place: Union Square

Washington, DC
24 July 2010
Time: 12.00-15.00
Time: In front of the Islamic Republic’s Interest Section of the Pakistani Embassy (2209 Wisconsin Ave NW)

For more information on how to save Sakine and others facing stoning to death and execution, donate, or volunteer contact: Mina Ahadi, Germany, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Execution Coordinator, minaahadi@aol.com, 0049 1775692413; Ahmad Fatemi, International Committee Against Execution Public Relations, fatemimark@gmail.com, 0046 0735203817; Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, iransolidaritynow@gmail.com, 0044 7719166731; Maria Rohaly, USA, Mission Free Iran, maria.rohaly@gmail.com or visit websites: International Committee Against Executions: http://notonemoreexecution.org/; International Committee Against Stoning: http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/; Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk; and Mission Free Iran: http://missionfreeiran.org/.

Stop stoning says Bethany

Worldwide protest against woman’s death sentence by stoning

Laura Dixon
Last updated July 23 2010 8:15PM

Protesters will take to the streets of dozens of cities tomorrow calling for a woman sentenced to die by stoning in Iran to be saved.

The International Committee against Stoning and Execution (ICAS) has designated tmorrow “International Sakineh Mohamadi Ashtiani Day”, and is planning worldwide protests against her sentence.

Ms Ashtiani, a mother of two, was sentenced to death by stoning after she was accused of adultery. After her children raised the alarm of her imminent stoning, a huge international campaign emerged calling for her to be saved. An open letter of protest to the Iranian Government, published in The Times, was signed by the former US secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the Nobel Peace laureate José Ramos-Horta, and the former foreign secretary David Miliband.

ICAS said that it was vital to keep up the pressure on the Iranian authorities. Although the Iranian Embassy in London said that Ms Ashtiani would not be executed by stoning, there are still fears that she could be be executed by another method. “We believe she is still in danger and is not in the clear until we hear she is out of prison,” Ahmad Fatemi begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, from ICAS, said.

Protests are planned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Georgia, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the US. Five protests wil take place in Britain: in Birmingham, Chichester, London, Egham, Surrey, and Richmond. Mock stonings will take place at some of the events to highlight the cause.

Mohammed Mostafaei, Ms Ashtiani’s lawyer, was this week summoned to talk to prosecutors at Evin prison in Tehran. He told The Times this week that it was “very unusual” to be summoned there, and that he feared he could be arrested. He was intending to meet them tomorrow morning.

Press Release on 24 July 2010: International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day

Press Release
For Immediate Distribution
22 July 2010

See Italian and French releases below.

24 July 2010 - International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day

24 July 2010 is to be designated International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day according to an open letter signed by Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning and Execution (Germany), Pierre Cassen, Riposte Laïque (France), Richard Dawkins, Scientist (UK), Anne-marie Lizin, Belgian Senate Honorary Speaker (Belgium), and Irshad Manji, European Foundation for Democracy and New York University (USA), Maryam Namazie (Iran Solidarity and One Law for All) amongst others.

The 58 signatories raise concern for 43 year old Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani who may be executed in Iran at any time for ‘having an illicit relationship.’ The mother of two has already received 99 lashes and been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. Her children, Faride and Sajjad, raised the alarm of her imminent stoning when there was no further legal recourse via an open letter to the people of the world.

In response to the call, rallies and events will be taking place on this day in a number of countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Georgia, France, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, UK and USA. Mock stonings will take place at some of the events.

Notes:

1. The open letter calling for 24 July 2010 to be International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day can be found here: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/07/24-july-2010-international-sakine.html.

2. To find an event in your area or to report one taking place on 24 July, visit: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/07/rallies-for-international-sakine.html.

3. The new and comprehensive list of persons stoned to death or awaiting death by stoning in Iran compiled by Farshad Hosseini of the ICAE is available in Persian: http://countmein-iran.com/Sangsarha%20lst-farshad-july2010.pdf. It is being translated into English.

4. For more information, please contact:
Mina Ahadi, Germany, ICAE and ICAS Coordinator, minaahadi@aol.com, 0049 1775692413
Ahmad Fatemi, ICAE Public Relations, fatemimark@gmail.com, 0046 0735203817
Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, iransolidaritynow@gmail.com, 0044 7719166731
Maria Rohaly, USA, Mission Free Iran, maria.rohaly@gmail.com
International Committee Against Executions: http://notonemoreexecution.org/
International Committee Against Stoning: http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/
Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk
Mission Free Iran: http://missionfreeiran.org/



24 luglio 2010
Giornata Internazionale per Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani
Venezia - Parco di Villa Franchin
Viale Garibaldi 155
ore 11.00

Il 24 luglio 2010 è stato scelto come Giornata Internazionale per Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani, come da lettera aperta firmata, tra gli altri, da Mina Ahadi, Comitato Internazionale contro la lapidazione e l'esecuzione (Germania), Pierre Cassen, Riposte Laïque (Francia), Richard Dawkins, Scienziato (UK), Anne -Marie Lizin, presidente onorario del Senato belga (Belgio), e Irshad Manji, Fondazione europea per la democrazia e New York University (USA), Maryam Namazie (Solidarietà per l’Iran e Una legge per tutti).

I 58 firmatari esprimono la loro preoccupazione per Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani (43 anni) che potrebbero essere giustiziata in Iran, in qualsiasi momento per 'aver avuto una relazione illecita.'
Madre di due figli, ha già ricevuto 99 frustate ed è stata condannata a morte per lapidazione in Iran. I suoi figli, Faride e Sajjad, hanno sollevato l'allarme sulla sua imminente lapidazione quando ogni ulteriore ricorso legale era esaurito, tramite una lettera aperta al popolo del mondo.

In risposta all’appello, raduni ed eventi avranno luogo in questo giorno in diversi paesi tra cui Australia, Brasile, Canada, Georgia, Francia, Olanda, Germania, Norvegia, Regno Unito e Stati Uniti. In alcune città si terranno alcuni finte lapidazioni.

Note:

1. Per leggere la lettera aperta proponendo il 24 luglio 2010 come Giornata Internazionale per Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/07/24-july-2010-international-sakine.html

2. Per trovare un evento nella vostra zona o per segnalarne uno, visitare il sito: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/07/rallies-for-international-sakine.html

3. Il nuovo elenco completo delle persone lapidate a morte o in attesa di morte per lapidazione in Iran compilato da Farshad Hosseini del ICAE è disponibile in persiano: http://countmein-iran.com/Sangsarha 20lst-Farshad-july2010.pdf.
E 'stato tradotto in inglese.

4. Per ulteriori informazioni, contattare:
Mina Ahadi, Germania, ICAE e ICAS Coordinatore, minaahadi@aol.com
0049 1775692413
Fatemi Ahmad, ICAE Relazioni con il Pubblico, fatemimark@gmail.com
0046 0735203817
Maryam Namazie, Regno Unito, Iran Solidarietà portavoce, iransolidaritynow@gmail.com 0044 7719166731
Maria Rohaly, USA, Missione Free Iran, maria.rohaly@gmail.com
Comitato internazionale contro le esecuzioni: http://notonemoreexecution.org/
Comitato Internazionale Contro la Lapidazione: http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress
Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk
Missione Free Iran: http://missionfreeiran.org/

Aderiscono all’iniziativa:

Il Comitato a supporto delle Madri in Lutto dell’Iran – Venezia
Il Centro Donna del Comune di Venezia:. “Ancora una volta contro le donne si consuma violenza. Troppe volte anche nel nostro territorio la violenza si trasforma in tragedia come è successo in queste due ultime settimane con la morte di Roberta e Eleonora”

****

Ligue du droit international des femmes
Mouvement pour la Paix et Contre le Terrorisme
Communiqué

Objet: En finir avec la lapidation

Samedi 24 juillet à 14 heures, des organisations non gouvernementales se mobilisent à travers le monde afin de dénoncer une pratique barbare dont les femmes sont les premières victimes, la lapidation. Il s'agit d'exiger l'abolition de ce type ce châtiment dégradant et barbare ainsi que de toute autre forme de violence physique à l'encontre de celles et ceux qui ont voulu simplement exercer leurs droits fondamentaux.

Le cas de Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtani. une jeune femme iranienne est à ce titre exemplaire. Elle a été condamnée à la lapidation et a déjà subi une peine de 99 coups de fouet. Selon certaines informations, face à la pression internationale, les autorités iraniennes auraient décidé de commuer la peine de Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtani en pendaison … Son crime ? Elle est soupçonnée d’avoir eu des relations extraconjugales, alors qu’elle est veuve depuis plusieurs années !

Les présidentes de la Ligue du Droit international des Femmes et du Mouvement pour la Paix et Contre le Terrorisme, en liaison notamment avec le réseau "One Law for All" (1) en Grande Bretagne, se rendront le 24 juillet à 14 heures à l’Ambassade de la République islamique d’Iran à Paris, (4 Avenue d’Iéna dans le 16 éme arrondissement) afin de remettre une lettre de protestation à l’adresse de l’ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, Guide Suprême, et l’ayatollah Sadegh Ardeshir-Larijani, Ministre de la Justice.

contacts France avec les présidentes de la LDIF et du MPCT:

LDIF, Annie Sugier 06 38 39 42 92
MPCT, Huguette Chomski Magnis 06 66 26 42 23

(1)contacts en GB
http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/
http://iransolidarity.org.uk/
http://notonemoreexecution.org/

Sakine’s children are still worried for their mother’s life

Press Release No 22

Sakine and her family await the ‘International Sakine Day’ tomorrow 24 July. They hope that protests will help to free Sakine. Her children, Sajad and Faride, are following the efforts of millions of people across the world in their defence and are anxiously awaiting their mother's release.

Sajad visited Sakine in prison on Thursday 22 July. Ms Ashtiani is worried because the authorities in Tabriz are trying to get an expedited execution order and she is also worried that her lawyer and family might not be informed of any impending execution as is often the case in Iran. The Islamic regime of Iran is trying to prevent communication between Sakine’s family and lawyers and the Save Sakine campaign and international media. However, Sakine’s family know that more than half a million signatures have been collected on her behalf and they know that millions of people are supporting her.

Sakine’s lawyer in Tehran, Mr Mostafaei, has been ordered to present himself in Evin prison. However he has not yet done so; he intends to present himself there tomorrow, Saturday. We will closely monitor whether Mr Mostafaei and Sakine’s family will be put under even more pressure.

The ICAE and ICAS calls on people worldwide to continue their efforts to save Sakine as only international pressure from the world community will be able to save her.
We are calling on everyone to take part in the ‘International Day for Sakine’ tomorrow Saturday 24 July as it is not only a day to protest in support of Sakine but also a day to protest against stoning and execution.

Mina Ahadi
Spokeperson
International Committee Against Execution (ICAE)
International Committee Against Stoning (ICAS)
23 July 2010

We Condemn the Intimidation of Mohammad Mostafaei, Sakine's Lawyer

Press Release 20

At the same time that the international protests to free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani are on the rise, Mohammad Mostafaei, the well-known lawyer in Tehran, has been summoned to the 2nd Branch of Shahid Moghaddas Court’s Interrogation Office in Evin Prison. Mostafaei has written in his personal website that he has been asked to present himself to that office within three days to give “some explanations.” “Some explanation” is nothing but threats and efforts by the regime to intimidate and silence the lawyers of those prisoners condemned to execution and stoning.

The International Committee against Execution strongly condemns this harassment and summons, and asks all Iranian people and people all around the world to protest against these acts of the Islamic Republic.

International Committee against Execution (ICAE)
Mina Ahadi
22 July 2010

Posters for International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day



Thursday, 22 July 2010

Peter Tatchell dedicates his honorary doctorate to Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani and Mansoor Osanloo

Tomorrow, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will receive an Honorary Doctorate from Sussex University for 43 years of human rights activism. In his acceptance speech he will say:

"I dedicate my acceptance of this honorary doctorate to the people of Iran who are struggling against clerical dictatorship, for democracy and freedom.

"In particular, Mansour Osanloo, the jailed Iranian trade union leader, and Sakineh Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to be stoned to death, along with more than 20 other Iranians..."

Iran stoning case ordered to name campaigners

Read Iran stoning case ordered to name campaigners.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case review postponed

Press Release 19

Final judgment will be made in 20 days

In our last press release we reported that the Supreme Court in Iran would issue a statement on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case on July 21st, 2010. Today we have been informed by our sources in Iran that the Islamic regime has postponed a decision in Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case for another 20 days. According to the sources, all documents of Sakineh’s case have been sent to the 9th division of the Supreme Court.

We believe that Sakineh is still at risk of being executed or even stoned to death. The aim of the Islamic regime of Iran is clear: by pushing back the date of the final verdict they hope to buy time to escape the pressure of the international community. The Islamic regime is waiting for the international news coverage and the pressure to abate to then continue with their criminal activities.

We hope that people worldwide will continue their efforts to save Sakineh from execution, stoning and prison, and we hope that the international media will continue to report on her case. Only with international pressure and news coverage can we save all ‘Sakinehs’ in Iran. The execution and stoning sentences of Sakineh and anyone else in Iranian prisons must be revoked immediately. We demand the abolishment of the death penalty, stoning and qesas (Islamic punishments).

July 21, 2010
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Islamic Republic’s judiciary to decide on Sakine’s case 21 July

Press Release 18

According to one of our sources in Tehran today, the Islamic Republic’s judiciary authorities have announced that a decision will be made on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani on Wednesday the 21st of July.

The Tabriz deputy prosecutor has called for Sakineh’s execution by hanging; thus, the danger of Sakineh’s execution is still very high, and we therefore need to intensify the pressure against the Islamic Republic to save Sakineh from state-sponsored murder.
Sakineh has been charged with having extramarital sexual relations; she has been lashed for this 99 times in front of her son and imprisoned for over 4 years under the nightmare of stoning.

Sakineh must be freed. To free Sakineh from execution and prison, we must intensify international pressure. This is the only way to force the regime of murderers to retreat. The widespread international efforts in the past few weeks have proven that it is possible to force back the hand of the Islamic regime and rescue Sakineh and others sentenced to execution and stoning.

The International Committee against Execution
July 19th 2010
Tir 28 1389

Saturday, 17 July 2010

24 July 2010 - International Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Day

Citizens of the World against Stoning

We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the fate of 43 year old Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani and fear she may be executed in Iran at any time for ‘having an illicit relationship.’

We call on people everywhere to intensify their protests by marking Saturday 24 July as the International Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani Day. On the Saturday, we ask you to come out on to the streets and in city centres across the globe at 2pm local time bringing photos of Sakine and messages in her defence and against stoning and execution. Other measures that can be taken include highlighting her case wherever possible, signing petitions here, here and here, joining rallies, and keeping pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The mother of two has already received 99 lashes and been sentenced to death by stoning. Sajjad, her 22-year-old son, who raised the alarm of her imminent stoning when there was no further legal recourse via an open letter to the people of the world and said ‘there is no justice’ in Iran has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence for his brave efforts to secure his mother’s freedom.

As a result of the public outcry, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London has issued a press release stating that the regime did not intend to stone her, that stoning in Iran was rare and that there was no truth to the reports. Her lawyer, however, has made it clear that ‘Iranian embassies are not a part of the judiciary system, and it is the judiciary which should cancel this sentence.’ Rather than being rare, a new report has found that over 100 known stonings have already taken place and another 25 known cases await death by stoning in Iran. Since the global protests, families of others held in Tabriz prison have come forward with news of 170 people sentenced to death, including children, youth, and 18 men and women for being gay. Two other women also await death by stoning in the same prison including Azar Bagheri who was 15 when she was arrested and 25 year old Maryam Ghorbanzadeh who is currently pregnant.

On 24 July 2010 at 2pm join us and make the world stand still in its rage against medievalism and barbarity and in its support of humanity. Sakine, her children and the many others awaiting death by stoning and execution deserve nothing less.

Mina Ahadi, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions (Germany)
Maryam Namazie, Iran Solidarity, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All (UK)
Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran (USA)
Shahla Abgari, Human Rights Activist (USA)
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Stop Child Executions (Canada)
Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle (Australia)
Caroline Brancher, Union des Familles Laïques (France)
Helle Merete Brix, Journalist and Writer (Denmark)
Roy Brown, International Humanist and Ethical Union (Switzerland)
Ed Buckner, President, American Atheists (USA)
Peter Calluy, Belgian Humanist Society (Belgium)
Pierre Cassen, Riposte Laïque (France)
Megan Cornish, Seattle Radical Women (USA)
Parvin Darabi, Dr. Homa Darabi Foundation (USA)
Richard Dawkins, Scientist (UK)
Sanal Edamaruku, Rationalist International (India)
Bill Flanagan, Queen's University (Canada)
Tahir Aslam Gora, Writer and Journalist (Canada)
AC Grayling, Writer and Philosopher (UK)
Laura Guidetti, Marea Association (Italy)
Maria Hagberg, Network against Honour-Related Violence (Sweden)
Johann Hari, Journalist (UK)
Farzana Hassan, Author (Canada)
Tasneem Khalil, Independent World Report (Sweden)
Hope Knutsson, Sidmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Iceland)
Leo Igwe, Nigerian Humanist Movement (Nigeria)
Sonia Jabbar, Journalist (India)
Trefor Jenkins, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, High Court Advocate (Pakistan)
Monica Lanfranco, Marea Feminist Review (Italy)
Anne-marie Lizin, Belgian Senate Honorary Speaker (Belgium)
Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women's Issue (France)
Kinga Lohmann, KARAT Coalition (Poland)
Mohamed Mahmoud, Centre for Critical Studies of Religion (UK)
Irshad Manji, European Foundation for Democracy and New York University (USA)
Caspar Melville, Rationalist Association (UK)
Behnaz Parman, Artist (Germany)
Angela Payne, Anti-Injustice Movement (UK)
Clancy Pegg, Bioethics Journal (UK)
Naomi Phillips, British Humanist Association (UK)
David Pollock, European Humanist Federation (UK)
Venita Popovic, Zenicke Sveske Journal (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Gita Sahgal, Human Rights Campaigner (UK)
Terry Sanderson, National Secular Society (UK)
Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative (Poland)
Udo Schuklenk, Queen's University (Canada)
Aisha Lee Shaheed, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (UK)
Issam Shukri, Defense of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq (Canada)
Elizabeth Sidney, Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom and Equality (UK)
Joan Smith, Writer and Activist (UK)
Roy Speckhardt, American Humanist Association (USA)
Annie Sugier, Ligue du Droit International Des Femmes (France)
Richy Thompson, National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (UK)
Christine Tasin, Résistance Républicaine (France)
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner UK)
Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker (India)
Shishir Thadani, South Asian Voice (India)
Gianni Verdoliva, Journalist (Italy)

Notes:

1. The new and comprehensive list of persons stoned to death or awaiting death by stoning in Iran compiled by Farshad Hosseini of the ICAE is available in Persian. It is being translated into English.

2. See a 17 July article in the Times calling for the eviction of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

3. For more information, please contact:
Mina Ahadi, Germany, ICAE and ICAS Coordinator, Email, 0049 1775692413
Ahmad Fatemi, Sweden, ICAE Public Relations, Email, 0046 0735203817
Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, Email, 0044 7719166731

4. To donate to the important work of the International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions, please make your cheque payable to ‘Count Me In – Iran’ and send to BM Box 6754, London WC1N 3XX, UK. You can also pay via Paypal. Please earmark your donation.

5. You can also find the latest news on the following websites:
International Committee Against Executions
International Committee Against Stoning
Facebook Page of Save Sakine Mohamadi Ashtiani

Eject Iran from UN Commission on Status of Women!

Exiles urge that Iran be ejected from UN women’s group
Martin Fletcher, The Times, 16 July 2010

Pressure groups led by Iranian exiles are demanding that the country be thrown out of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

They have seized on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the mother given 99 lashes and sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery.

“Such a regime has no place at the table when it comes to setting global gender policy in the 21st century,” said Maria Rohaly, co-ordinator of Mission Free Iran. “By defending the practice of stoning, the Islamic Republic has itself publicly and on the global stage provided the basis upon which the world must insist that it be immediately removed from the commission.”

Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for Iran Solidarity, said: “For Iran to be sitting on such a committee is tragic and outrageous. It’s like having a South African apartheid government sitting on the Commission for Racial Equality. How is it possible?”

Ahmad Fatemi, of the International Committee Against Executions, said it was “obscene and unacceptable that a country like Iran gets a seat on this committee. It is rewarding the Islamic Republic for its atrocities.”

Fifteen Iranians are thought to be awaiting execution by stoning, all but three of them women. In Tabriz prison, where Ms Ashtiani has been incarcerated for five years, they include Azar Bagheri, 19, who was forced into marriage at 14, convicted of adultery on her husband’s say-so and has twice been subjected to mock stonings as she is not yet old enough to be executed.

Stoning is simply the most egregious form of discrimination suffered by Iranian women. Their evidence in court is worth half that of a man; they have severely curtailed rights of inheritance, divorce and child custody; they are forbidden to travel without their husband’s permission; and must cover their heads and bodies whenever they go out. Women’s right activists are routinely harrassed, arrested and imprisoned.

In April Iran gained a four-year seat on the commission, a move trumpeted by state media because only one other country, Thailand, applied for the two vacant slots allocated to Asia. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of several outraged members of the US Congress, said: “That an Iranian regime that shoots and stones women would be ‘elected’ to a UN body supposedly dedicated to women’s rights adds a whole new disgusting twist to the ongoing saga of Iran exploiting the UN.”

Friday, 16 July 2010

Free them now - campaign for jailed labour activists in Iran

For more info, visit blog.

In Iran workers are routinely arrested for going on strike, for building a union or for celebrating May Day. That is what happened to bus workers in Tehran: Over 700 of them were arrested when they went on strike in 2006. Some of their leaders, such as Mansoor Ossanlou, are still in jail, and some have been fired from their jobs. It happened to sugar cane workers when they organised protests over unpaid wages and built a union. Their leaders have spent months in prison and are daily harassed with court summons and heavy bails. Some have also lost their jobs. Teachers who took strike action and held rallies over their pay and conditions have also been put in prison. Over the years, hundreds of workers have met a similar end for exercising their fundamental right to freely organise, strike and assemble.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions, long prison terms, violent interrogations, beatings, even use of lashing to degrade and break down, denial of medical care to sick detainees, constant harassment in the form of court summons, heavy bails and daily threats issued against the workers and their families, and the ultimate weapon of cutting workers off their livelihood by firing them, make up a brutal regime of systematic persecution of labour activists in Iran.

In May this year the regime added to its 31-year record of horrific human rights abuse by executing well-known teacher and labour activist Farzad Kamangar, along with four other political prisoners. The world’s trade unions and human rights organisations had been campaigning for Farzad’s release for years, and vehemently condemned the callous killings.

We, a group of labour activists and campaigners from Iran and around the world, have set up this campaign to highlight the plight of the workers currently in jail in Iran or under the threat of arrest and detention. The aim of the campaign is the immediate and unconditional release of all labour activists who are currently in jail. Some of us are former members of the very unions suppressed by the regime in Iran, who are continuing the fight in exile through this and other campaigns.


Our demand is clear: the terror and violence against workers in Iran must stop! Workers in Iran should be able to freely exercise their fundamental right to set up their own organisations, meet, assemble and protest as they wish, take strike action, organise and take part in rallies, etc., without fear of being arrested and thrown in jail. All jailed workers must be immediately and unconditionally freed!

The following workers are currently known to be held in various prisons and detention centres in Iran. The actual list is much longer. The whereabouts of some remain unknown (The list is regularly updated on our blogs):

From the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United (Vahed) Bus Company:

Mansoor Ossanlou (President)
Ebrahim Madadi (Vice President)
Saeed Torabian (Spokesperson)
Reza Shahabi (Treasurer)

From the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association:

Ghorban Ahmadi
Ali Akbar Baghani
Hossein Bastani Nejad
Mahmoud Beheshti Langroodi
Rasoul Bodaghi
Mohammad Davari
Alireza Hashemi (General Secretary)
Seyyed Hashem Khastar
Abdollah Momeni

* Another teacher, Abdolreza Ghanbari, was arrested during the mass anti-government demonstration on 27 December 2009. He has been sentenced to death.

Other detained labour activists:

Behnam Ebrahim-zadeh
Mehdi Farrahi Shandiz

We call on all trade unions and human rights organisations around the world and all individuals and organisations appalled by the horrific human rights abuse in Iran to support and sign up to this campaign.

Initial signatories:

Mamad Amiri (Labour activist, Sweden)
Davoud Aram (Labour activist, Canada)
Foroogh Arghavan (Labour activist, Canada)
Masoud Arzhang (Labour activist, Canada)
Naser Asghari (Labour activist, Canada)
Dave Bleakney (Canadian Union of Postal Workers, CUPW)
Shahla Daneshfar (Labour activist)
Pascal Descamp (Labour activist, member of CGT, France)
Salah Fallahi (Labour activist, transport workers’ union, Norway)
Morteza Fateh (Labour activist, UK)
Ahmad Fatemi (Labour activist, member of Unionen, Sweden)
Reza Fathi (Labour activist, former member of a union in Iran)
Farshad Hosseini (Labour activist, Holland)
Mehran Khorshidi (Labour activist, transport workers’ union, Norway)
Yadi Kouhi (Labour activist, France)
Mehran Mahboobi (Labour activist, Canada)
Shiva Mahboobi (Spokesperson, Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran)
Manouchehr Mahdavi Tabar (Former member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company)
Abbas Mandegar (Labour activist, transport workers’ union, Canada)
Shahnaz Morattab (Labour activist, postal workers’ union, Germany)
Arsalan Nazeri (Labour activist, Australia)
Mohammad Nemati (Former member of the Free Union of Iranian Workers)
Saber Rahimi (Labour activist, Norway)
Reza Rashidi (Former Member of the Follow-up Committee to Set Up Free Workers’ Organisations in Iran)
Bahram Soroush (Labour activist)
Abbas Zamani (Labour activist, former member of a union in Iran)

Campaign co-ordinators:

Shahla Daneshfar
Shahla_Daneshfar@yahoo.com 0044-77798 98968
Bahram Soroush
Bahram.Soroush@gmail.com 0044-7852 338334

8 July 2010