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Iranian woman will not be stoned, but may be hanged
July 21, 2010 7:44 PM   Subscribe

After an international campaign was launched by her children, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani will not be stoned to death. But she still faces death by hanging. Now she's been ordered to give the names of the people campaigning for her. She has also been advised to tell her children to remain silent, or they will be arrested.

In 2006, Ashtiani was convicted of adultery and sentenced to 99 lashes. Her case was reopened in a court in Tabriz, Iran, when she was suspected of murdering her husband. Though she was acquitted, the judge reviewed the adultery charge, and sentenced her to death by stoning. An international campaign was launched by her children, with the help of Mina Ahadi.

FreeSakineh.org has been launched to gather signatures for a petition "which calls on the Iranian authorities to clarify her current legal status, demands that the authorities enact legislation that bans stoning as a legal punishment, and eliminates other forms of the death penalty for “adultery” such as flogging or imprisonment."
posted by lexicakes (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
So can the U.S. stop buying oil from that government now? Huh? Can we?
posted by clarknova at 7:51 PM on July 21, 2010


I'd be willing to put my name on a list of those campaigning for her. Where do I sign?
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:55 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oil is a fungable commodity. The only was to prevent Iranian oil from reaching the world market is a full scale military blockade. Which would mean war, of course.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:56 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Iran is not in the top 15 of countries the US imports from, and yeah, on a larger scale mr_roboto is correct
posted by edgeways at 8:01 PM on July 21, 2010


I saw this atrocious story floating around last week and figured it would kind of disappear the way most such stories do on the internet. It's good to see that light is still being shone on this thing. If the international outcry was enough to get the sentence commuted, it seems quite possible that renewed pressure can save her life entirely.
posted by chaff at 8:04 PM on July 21, 2010


Oil is a fungible commodity. The only was to prevent Iranian oil from reaching the world market is a full scale military blockade.

Iran is not in the top 15 of countries the US imports from

It would still be more effective than signing a petition (which you can do here, Emperor SnooKloze). Frankly, I don't want our economy to be involved. We're bloody enough.
posted by clarknova at 8:19 PM on July 21, 2010


That's some fucked up shit right there.
posted by swift at 8:21 PM on July 21, 2010


The barbarity and sexism of Iran's death penalty is astounding:
Under Iranian sharia law, the sentenced individual is buried up to the neck (or to the waist in the case of men), and those attending the public execution are called upon to throw stones. If the convicted person manages to free themselves from the hole, the death sentence is commuted.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:29 PM on July 21, 2010


Fucking ass-backwards medieval type bullshit.
posted by dazed_one at 8:42 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This makes me very sad inside.
posted by nola at 9:10 PM on July 21, 2010


One of the world press photo winners this years was a stoning. The pictures can be seen here [WARNING: HORRIFYING]
posted by claudius at 9:12 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the convicted person manages to free themselves from the hole, the death sentence is commuted.

This only applies to men, however (warning: disturbing video).
posted by homunculus at 9:13 PM on July 21, 2010


Wed at 14, 'adulterous' girl, Azar Bagheri, awaits stoning
SHE was only 14 when she was forced into marriage with an older man.

Yet within a year of her wedding, Azar Bagheri was charged with adultery and sentenced to be stoned to death.

The sentence could not be carried out until she was 18. So for the past four years, Ms Bagheri has been languishing on death row while the courts waited for her to reach maturity so she could be put to death.

According to Iranian human rights activist Mina Ahadi, Ms Bagheri was denounced by her husband, who accused her of committing adultery with two men.

Ms Ahadi said the teenager had been subjected to two mock stonings. On each occasion she was taken out of her cell and buried up to her shoulders in the yard of Tabriz prison, in northwest Iran, as if being prepared to be pelted to death with stones.
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do you know what's more horrifying? Our tax dollars pay for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people every year, but we're too busy ogling the sins of Iranians to do anything about our own crimes. If we lobbied our representatives or donated to anti-military lobbying groups instead of feeling self-righteous about our civilization, we'd save more lives.
posted by atypicalguy at 9:36 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


homunculus and claudius - Thank you for the links to other stories. I am certainly aware that Ms. Ashtiani is not the only person who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, but I felt that including details of the (at least equally horrifying) stories of other people meeting the same fate would cause me to lose focus and lead to a bad FPP. Still, I appreciate you pointing out that there are indeed many, many people who are subjected to the same things that Ms. Ashtiani is dealing with. This is in no way an isolated event.
posted by lexicakes at 9:53 PM on July 21, 2010


AmeriKKKa is worse than Iran/North Korea/the Third Reich. Sigh. I should have expected the tu quoque post.
posted by elmwood at 9:54 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Do you know what's more horrifying? Our tax dollars pay for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people every year...etc.

Christ Almighty, do people still go in for this sort of false dichotomy? I don't know about you, but I'm capable of pressing for reforms both here and abroad, and at the same time.

As for ogling the sins of Iranians and feeling self-righteous about our civilization - well, you're obviously pretty new to Metafilter. Something weird appears to be going on with the button or I'd just link them here, but you should probably use the site's search to check tags like "war crimes" and "injustice," just to use two examples, and see how many posts pop up referencing Iran versus those referring to American domestic or overseas activities.

What we don't do here, however, is allow the presence of vast injustices perpetrated under our flag to blind us, or drive us into silence, concerning those done elsewhere in the world in the name of other banners and creeds.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:02 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


AmeriKKKa is worse than Iran/North Korea/the Third Reich. Sigh. I should have expected the tu quoque post.

Hypocrisy is not a fallacy, it's a failure of basic morality. Especially considering the fact that our coup there in 1953 is the reason there's an Islamic theocracy in charge now.
posted by atypicalguy at 10:06 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christ Almighty, do people still go in for this sort of false dichotomy? I don't know about you, but I'm capable of pressing for reforms both here and abroad, and at the same time.

To clarify, I am not trying to say that there is no way to address both causes, or present a false dichotomy. I think it is scary that stoning for adultery and beheadings for homosexuality are more bizarre forms of injustice, so they get more coverage than collateral damage because of their sensational nature. The real truth is that the more we get involved in the middle east, the more people die from what we claim to fight against. Sha'ria killings in Iraq were practically non-existent before we invaded, and now are totally commonplace. I doubt Afghanistan will be any better than it was in 2000, but some members of our government decided anything would be better than a Marxist government in Kabul back in 1978. And if we invaded Iran, the first government to offer fealty is the one that we'd pick, regardless of their position on women's rights. (For reference, see Saudi Arabia.)

Our self-righteous opinion about our own ideals is often folly enough to do more damage than what is done by what we consider backwards and inferior civilizations. Forming and following our own moral principles would do far more good for everyone. That's my point.
posted by atypicalguy at 10:59 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


are you some guy typing?
posted by infini at 3:50 AM on July 22, 2010


Thanks for clearing that up, atypicalguy.

I kinda thought that this wasn't the fault of the US or anyone else, I thought the blame lay with the warped fucknuckles who can do this to their own children.

And I also thought this was the result of weird extremists.

Oh, but now I know better. It's the US's fault. My bad.

Sha'ria killings in Iraq were practically non-existent before we invaded, and now are totally commonplace.

Your source, please? I can find nothing online to back up your statement.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:49 AM on July 22, 2010


claudius: "One of the world press photo winners this years was a stoning. The pictures can be seen here [WARNING: HORRIFYING]"

Why did I click that. Seriously? Why?!? It clearly states "HORRIFYING" and totally lived up to the tag.
posted by This Guy at 5:20 AM on July 22, 2010


Whoah. "Our coup" caused the theocracy? Dude, the actually history of how Iran became the way it is is waaaay more complicated and waaaaay more interesting than that.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:54 AM on July 22, 2010


Understood, atypicalguy. But I don't think anyone is suggesting military invading Iran in response to executions like this. And I don't think that protests, signing petitions, etc. will cause more deaths, so why your point is sensible on a wider scale, it's a bit puzzling in this thread.

"Our coup" caused the theocracy? Dude, the actually history of how Iran became the way it is is waaaay more complicated and waaaaay more interesting than that.

Yeah, the powder keg was there but we did kind of start dropping matches in it with all the stuff we and the British were getting up to (Mossadeq, etc.).
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:25 AM on July 22, 2010


Thanks for this post, very much. Does anyone have some links to do any more than sign the petition?

Also, I question the assumption that anything anyone, including the U.S., Hitler, Attila the Hun, or Vlad the Impaler ever did means that we shouldn't care and protest about the wrong being done to this woman by this cruel and tyrannical Iranian regime.
posted by bearwife at 9:20 AM on July 22, 2010


Frankly, I don't want our economy to be involved. We're bloody enough.

There are two ways to accomplish that: 1. A total cessation of petroleum and petroleum product use in the United States or 2. A total blockade of (i.e. war with) Iran. Choose your poison.

Option 1. isn't possible, by the way. We currently use about 20 million barrels a day for not only fuel, but our entire manufacturing economy. Plastic products are made from it, our roads are paved with it, it's what keeps your roof waterproof. It's the primary feedstock for most industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals. It's a primary component of most imported manufactured goods, too. So war, then. I think you're right that war would be more effective than signing a petition. Pretty bloody, though.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:49 AM on July 22, 2010


malibustacey9999, you're not going to find much hard data. There's not enough safety or infrastructure now to gather any. Here is a good article, though very outdated. Basically, the Bush Administration overestimated the support they would receive as liberators, and underestimated the amount of violence the brutal regime of Saddam had been keeping a lid on with their own framework of oppression. As the whole situation unwound, only the the hardline clerics were able to exercise control, so their worldview currently dominates Iraqi politics. Saddam was Sunni, and enforced his views on a majority Shia population. Sunnis, for instance, believe that rapists should be killed if found guilty, and their victims should not be punished. Sharia Law preferred by Shias has odd rules about determining the guilt of a rapist, and so it's nearly impossible to prove. Once it's clear that a woman has had sex outside of marriage, she is jailed and sometimes executed for adultery. (Obviously I'm not a muslim scholar, so if I have any of this wrong, please let me know.)

Laws banning the death penalty were overturned by the Iraqi government in 2005. Laws protecting women and gay rights have also been reduced, and even if they are on the books, are often completely ignored. Sympathetic policemen and judges either don't prosecute for honor killings, or let the murderer serve a few months in prison.

Keep in mind, Saudi Arabia also allows for the execution of adulterers. They also jail victims of rape and do not permit them to have an abortion if they are impregnated. The reason that isn't news is because Saudi Arabia is an ally.

I'm not blaming the US planners for committing these crimes, but I do blame them for being complicit with stupidity, shortsightedness, and many times, out of political expedience.

Arsenio, the US and Britain destroyed their democracy to regain control of their oil fields in 1953 and installed a dictator who ruled there for twenty six years. The Iranian Revolution can directly be traced as a reaction to this oppression. If there is a more coherent explanation, I've not heard it.

AdamCSnider, my first response was poorly written. But I have no illusions about the recent anti-Iranian propaganda. Many of the crimes committed under that regime are also committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The only difference is that we do not have military or political control over Iran, so they are an open target. Singling out Iran for these crimes serves no purpose but to make it easier to build up support for military intervention. Israel is certainly on board. Saudi Arabia may quietly support the war out of fear of Tehran taking center stage in Middle Eastern politics. And if the government decides to continue feeding stories like this to the press, who happily regurgitate it, even though they may be entirely fabricated, the American people will once again feel justified in sending the troops in. And once again, we'll be treating the symptoms, ignoring the disease, and patting ourselves on the back for being so enlightened.
posted by atypicalguy at 12:03 PM on July 22, 2010


Arsenio, the US and Britain destroyed their democracy to regain control of their oil fields in 1953 and installed a dictator who ruled there for twenty six years. The Iranian Revolution can directly be traced as a reaction to this oppression. If there is a more coherent explanation, I've not heard it.

That explanation is, indeed, very coherent. History and the fate of nations however are complex, multifactorial things that rarely obey coherent two-sentence explanations upon close inspection.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:42 PM on July 22, 2010


History and the fate of nations however are complex, multifactorial things that rarely obey coherent two-sentence explanations

There are definitely more details. What I find most compelling is that you can't even try a historical comparison to see what would have happened if the US had simply stayed out of Iranian affairs. All middle eastern nations of any geopolitical importance have been controlled, politically or militarily, by the United States and Britain. The sole example may be Turkey, which is certainly a democratic paradise compared to its neighbors. Yet even Turkey conceded to Western authority at the end of WWII. If they had instead turned to Moscow, they may have ended up just like Afghanistan.

Anyway, I know I'm longwinded, and way off topic at this point. I just find the intersection of American and Middle Eastern politics grossly fascinating.
posted by atypicalguy at 1:30 PM on July 22, 2010


I love how in your world, no Middle Eastern nations have or had any agency.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:07 PM on July 22, 2010


Sha'ria killings in Iraq were practically non-existent before we invaded, and now are totally commonplace.

That would be because prior to our invasion, Iraq pretty much did not follow sharia law.

Being as they were socialist and all.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:01 PM on July 22, 2010


I love how in your world, no Middle Eastern nations have or had any agency.

In the United States? Feel free to provide some examples. I'm unaware of any other Middle Eastern nation that has located military bases inside of our territory, bribed our politicians to get access to our resources, or threatened us with a superior military force to their benefit.
posted by atypicalguy at 6:37 PM on July 22, 2010


lol
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:40 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Iran stoning case woman fainted on hearing sentence, says cellmate: For days, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was like 'a ghost wandering in shock' after receiving death penalty
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on July 27, 2010


Iran stoning woman offered asylum by Brazil's president Lula: Offer raises hopes Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, will be spared
posted by homunculus at 1:03 PM on August 1, 2010


Mistaken as an Iranian Martyr, Then Hounded: Wrongly identified as Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death in 2009 became a symbol for the opposition, Zahra Soltani fled Iran.
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on August 1, 2010


Iran dismisses Lula's 'emotional' stoning asylum offer
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on August 4, 2010


Thanks for the continued updates, homunculus. I just read today that the prosecutor is still demanding Sakineh's execution. I really hope that this does not end in her death, but things are not looking good.
posted by lexicakes at 9:53 PM on August 4, 2010


And apparently her lawyer fled to Turkey, where he's been arrested.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 PM on August 4, 2010


It looks like she will likely be executed:

A second attorney representing Ashtiani told a human rights activist Thursday that Iranian authorities have decided she will be executed.

Mina Ahadi, spokeswoman for the International Committee against Stoning, said she had spoken to Hotan Kian, an attorney who attended a court session in Tehran Wednesday. He was informed that there would be no more appeals for his client, Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani, and that Iran's high court will decide within a week whether she will be stoned or be executed in another way.


The lawyer will not be extradited by Turkey, and he's applying for asylum.
posted by lexicakes at 3:17 PM on August 5, 2010


Iranian facing stoning speaks: 'It's because I'm a woman'
posted by homunculus at 6:32 PM on August 6, 2010


Iran set to execute 18-year-old on false charge of sodomy
posted by homunculus at 8:39 AM on August 8, 2010


Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 'confesses' to murder on Iran state TV: Lawyer says Ashtiani was tortured before interview recorded in Tabiz prison, and fears execution imminent
posted by homunculus at 6:58 PM on August 11, 2010


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