No means “not yet” for Sakineh Ashtiani’s execution

by Sandra Juncu

Sakineh Ashtiani

Iran denies plans to execute Sakineh Ashatiani today, as Manouchehr Mottaki, Iranian Foreign Minister, declared to his French counterpart during a phone conversation.

The statement followed world-wide outrage caused by information broadcasted by the International Committee against Stoning and The International Committee against Execution, which stated that the highest court in Iran has sent the order for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s execution to Tabriz prison; following this decision she could face the death penalty at any moment.

”Manouchehr Mottaki assured me that the Iranian authorities have not yet reached a verdict in the affair relating to ( Ashtiani) and that the information regarding her alleged execution did not correspond to reality”, Bernard Kouchner, French Foreign Minister.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43 year old Iranian woman, mother of two, has become a symbolic icon in the global fight for Human Rights. Her story stirred world-wide indignation, protests and relentless campaigns, as both international organisations and politicians are trying to prevent her brutal execution.

The Iranian woman was imprisoned in early 2006 after alleged claims of adultery, punishable with death by stoning under the Islamic law inforced in 1979. Even after the accusation did not stand up in court, after receiving multiple lashings and spending 5 years in prison, the Iranian authorities refuse to release her and are said to go ahead with execution plans. They have also arrested her son and lawyer and two German journalists following the case without giving explanations on the legitimacy of this act.

International human rights organisations are speaking out for Sakineh Ashtiani, as Amnesty International is making an appeal for citizens to get involved and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is also providing relevant information and asking for a global effort to bring equality in Iran.

” We ask that people continue their protests, exerting pressure on governments and The Islamic Republic of Iran and highlighting her situation, until her execution is officially rescinded and she is released along with her son, Sajjad, her lawyer Houtan Kian and the two German Journalists arrested on 10 October 2010″, Mina Ahadi, on behalf of the International Committee against Stoning and The International Committee against Execution