Iran: woman facing death for adultery pressured by prison authorities

Rallies have been held in London, Paris, New York, Berlin, Ottawa and other cities around the world to support Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by the Islamic Republic for adultery. Ashtiani has been incarcerated since 2005 and has already received received 99 lashes. She was initially sentenced to death by stoning, but the execution was put on hold earlier this month after an international outcry. “We do want to save her life,” said Maryam Namazie, a protest organizer in London. “We are hoping this will be a stepping tone to ending stoning and executions in Iran once and for all.”

Malekadjar Sharifi, an official in Eastern Azerbaijan province, denied the suspension of the stoning sentence was due to international pressure. Although she will not be stoned, rights groups worry that Ashtiani could still be hanged. Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, “apostasy” and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran’s sharia law, enforced since the 1979 Islamic revolution. At least 10 other people, including seven women, are under sentence of stoning in Iran’s prisons, according to Amnesty International. (AlJazeera, July 24)

According to unnamed sources cited by The Guardian, Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, has been interrogated inside Tabriz prison over the names of the people who have been in touch with her family to coordinate the international campaign on her behalf. (The Guardian, July 22)

See our last posts on Iran and the women’s struggle.

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  1. Maryam Namazie brainwashed by western culture
    It appears that Maryam Namazie has been brain washed by the western culture to the extent that she strongly feels that it is ok to get involved in extra-maritial affairs. I suggest that she re-look at her self and decide whether she would like to leave by the Islamic sheria or the western culture that promotes the degradation of a women in the name of equality. If God(of all religions) has defferentiated man and woman than who the hell are the west to object to this?

    1. So you support stoning women to death?
      Please make yourself clear. You believe that adultery is a sin, but stoning women to death is OK?

      If these are your values, I prefer western culture, thank you.

    2. brainwashed on sharia
      Actually it appears you have been brainwashed.

      Why is that every time somebody even remotely criticizes Sharia, islamic interpretation or just inequality in the community that they are called brainwashed by the West? This in itself is a ridiculous argument.

      If the West is indeed degrading women as you claim, then why are muslims and women fleeing to the West? Why not remain in Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia? Pressumably because the living standard is higher but also because they are free.

      Yes every community has its problems but I would argue the Muslim communities has far serious problems especially when gender equality (lack of) and Sharia. It does not matter how many countries practise Sharia, stoning, lashing – one is one too many. Many claim it is because the few countries are backwards. One could say that perhaps of Afghanistan in terms of socio economics but how about iran and SaudiArabia? They are developed countries and SA is incredibly rich and advanced. Yet women can not drive, they er deterred from working, they are forced to wear veils so not to seduce or tempt the weak men(insulting to all men and also a carte blance to rape women), they can’t travel without the written consent of their husband/father/brother (guardian), she can not marry without a wali (guardian), she can not inherit like a man, a woman is not considered an adult or independent being. I think these are pretty big problems.

      How about you address that rather than divide the world into east(good) and West(evil)? It doesnt work like that.

      I’d hate to live in a world who didn not care what was going on in other countries. Are you suggesting the world should not intervene when war are fought, people are being raped and looted and slaughtered (like in Darfur where all muslim countries stood still not criticizing Omar Bashir or his militia who did this to their own people?), or the daily human rights degradations in Kashmir for the past 60+ years (but oh wait we only have time and tears for Gaza because evidently some races are not as important clearly), or the war in Afghanistan? or the Taliban?

      At least some people care and then there are those like who wil classify anybody who thinks differently and has the audacity to speak out against such atrocities as illoyal foreign agents of the West. You forget many Muslims are born and raises in the West and thereby definition western. You forget the thousands of converts of the West. Shame on you.

      Have a reality check and start caring.