Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Statements in support of International Day against Stoning

Updated 6 July 2011

Put your statements, photos, videos, poems, and acts of solidarity against stoning and in support of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and others sentenced to death by stoning on the Facebook page or email them to actionforsakineh@gmail.com.


Washington Post, International Day against Stoning on 11 July

Statement from Women Council of Belgium, Belgium
Democracy contains the same values everywhere and we must defend it in the same way all over the world.
What reasonable person, whether European or from elsewhere, can still be in favor of stoning? Or female genital mutilation? Or hanging homosexuals? Or confining women at home?
Women are more than half of humanity! Stoning is among the most the barbaric violence of the 21st century and massacres against women are perpetrated over and over again! In Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Yemen, to name the main countries, death by stoning is still a punishment to which women - mostly - are still subject to… And ironically among these countries some have signed conventions of Human Rights.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has languished for too many years in an Iranian jail. She has already been punished with 99 lashes administered in the presence of one of her two children.
How can we speak of "justice"? Stoning in Iran is a political tool in the hands of a, religious, Islamic, archaic and repressive regime decided to oppress the society in one of the hardest ways that exist.
In countries experiencing armed conflicts and in countries that have introduced Sharia law, violence against women is organized. Women who cannot defend themselves are the victims of fanatics and Islamic courts.
Today the voice of Sakineh reached the world and today Sakineh represents all victims of obscurantism.
In Belgium we demand the abolition of stoning, which is a brutal murder that nothing can justify.
On the International Day against Stoning in Belgium we say stop stoning now!
Viviane Teitelbaum
President CFFB – women council of Belgium

American Humanist Association Supports International Day Against Stoning, Washington, D.C., USA
Today, on the International Day Against Stoning, the American Humanist Association is raising awareness of the brutal practice of stoning and demanding the end of stoning as a form of punishment around the world.
The American Humanist Association stands beside the International Committee Against Stoning and its effort to eradicate the cruel tradition of stoning, an inhumane method of punishment which affects predominantly women and girls in developing countries. Fundamentalist religious zealots around the world are responsible for enacting laws based on stringent and unforgiving moral codes, sometimes punishable by sentences such as stoning to death. Women are stoned for “offenses” such as giving birth out of wedlock, extramarital affairs, and even in response to false accusations of murder.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been imprisoned along with her lawyer for four years, was sentenced by the courts of the Islamic Republic of Iran for various charges of being an accessory to murder, public indecency (for appearing in court without the traditional Islamic veil) and adultery. International pressure has resulted in a stay of her execution, but she and her lawyer still remain in prison. This pattern of indicting women on false accusations, and on grounds of violating strict religious requirements, places a heavy burden on women to obey laws set in place by the influence of male clergy and lawmakers.
The American Humanist Association condemns the act of stoning as brutal and inhumane. Humanists worldwide strive to protect the dignity of all and work to protect those accused of crimes based on fundamentalist restrictions on women. We are proud to support the International Committee Against Stoning and the Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Campaign in their efforts to end this practice.
Roy Speckhardt
Executive Director
American Humanist Association

Cyrus Nowrasteh, filmmaker, The Stoning of Soraya M, USA

Soraya Manutcheri was stoned to death in the village of Kupayeh, Iran in 1986. She was framed by her husband who wished to avoid support payments in his desire to divorce her. He used a legal system imposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran called “Sharia” -- which justifies the torture and suppression of its citizens, especially women. Since Soraya’s case innumerable women have been silenced by a repressive regime. This must stop. I commend the StopStoningNow campaign for bringing attention to the continuing grave injustice of stoning.

Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Author, UK
July 11th is the International Day against Stoning. It is organised by, among others, Maryam Namazie, that admirably courageous fighter on behalf of threatened women in Iran and wherever Islam oppresses them. Please support her on July 11th, wherever you are.

Ahlam Akram, Researcher and Writer, UK
Stoning to death is the world’s oldest form of brutal execution; it is a cruel insane punishment that was derived from Hammurabi’s laws in Iraq thousands of years before the three Abrahamic religions. Later, It was adopted by Judaism... up until Jesus famous anti stoning statement "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’’. But it was re-enforced during the first years of Islam and practiced today in some fundamentalist Muslim States.
Although there is no trace for this crime in any verses in the Quran... yet there are several talks about Omer Ben Al Qattab confirming that it was mentioned in some verses of the Quran, and that the prophet practiced it and all his companions followed his action... meaning that the entire community participates in this horrible act which dissolve the barrier of humanity in the community and the individual. And allows for a culture of violence in the society.
The procedure is extremely barbaric and bloody, and plants the seeds for a culture of continuous humiliation and demonization of women.
I urge all women to stand against it and urge the UN to ban any member state that allows it from gaining its membership. As well as depriving it from international community aid.
For a universal culture of peace we need to confirm universality of human rights in particular women's rights.

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, UK
Stoning is a relic of uncivilisation. A barbaric crime against humanity, it is uniquely cruel and sadistic. The people of the world - and the United Nations - must do much more to end to stoning – and all other forms of capital punishment.

Stephen Law, editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy journal THINK, UK
It is important we stand in solidarity with people who are being intimated and killed by stoning, often on trumped up or absurd religious charges.

Leo Igwe, executive director of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
In today's world, it is shocking to know that there are states like Iran where human beings are facing stoning sentences. And as often the case, this barbaric form of punishment is used against the vulnerable members of the population like Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her associates in Iran. I want to join my voice with those of other friends around world to upon the government of Iran to abolish stoning and execution of human beings. And to free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Now. In solidarity with International Day Against Stoning. P.S. We are holding a humanist convention in Abuja in September 22-25. And there is a session on faith based human rights abuses. Please send a presentation on the international campaign against stoning.

George Broadhead, Vice-President UK Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, Secretary UK Pink Triangle Trust, UK
I was appalled to learn that stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws in six Islamic countries - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates - and some states in Nigeria. This barbaric punishment amounts to torture before death and should have no place in the laws of any civilised society.

Helle Merete Brix, Writer, Denmark
I will participate in an action against stoning, this barbaric punishment that should long ago have been abolished. Thanks to the organisations letting the world know about the women and men in prisons in Iran and elsewhere being condemned to this inhuman punishment.

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