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Iran Lifts Stoning Sentence, But May Still Execute Ashtiani For Murder

Iran Lifts Stoning Sentence, But May Still Execute Ashtiani For Murder

We’ve been following the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to stoning for adultery who has attracted sympathy and outrage worldwide.  After pressure, most lately, from France and the Catholic Church, the Iranian government first commuted the punishment from stoning to hanging, and have now announced that Ashtiani will not be executed for adultery at all.

This is an enormous victory, not least for the 20,000 Care2 members who signed our petition to stop Ashtiani’s execution.  You are all part of a global effort to end human rights abuses like the fate that could have befallen Ashtiani, and you should be very proud.

However, sadly, this saga is not over.  The Iranian government charged Ashtiani with what they claim is her role in the death of her husband, and these murder charges could result in life imprisonment or another death sentence.  It’s unclear at this point what Ashtiani is actually guilty of, since the only evidence is a “confession” aired on Iranian state TV, an unreliable source at best. 

Certainly, the murder charges seem like an attempt on the part of the Iranian government to move away from the adultery charges, and to instead portray Ashtiani as a killer.  Ashtiani’s lawyers say that she only participated in the confession after being tortured in prison.

On Tuesday, the president of the European Commission described the death sentence as “barbaric beyond words.”  The European Union Parliament also passed a resolution declaring that a punishment like stoning “can never be justified or accepted,”

The number of public figures who have spoken out on Ashtiani’s behalf continues to grow, and if you haven’t signed the petition to save her life, we encourage you to do so.

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Photo from the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty website -

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6:13PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Lets hope and pray that there'd be more freedom for the tens of thousands women in Middle East!

5:09PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Press Release 82 (

Extract: According to information obtained by the International Committees against stoning and executions, Sajjad, the son of Sakineh, and Houtan Kian, her lawyer, are subjected to pressure & severe torture in a prison of Tabriz.

According to our sources, Houtan & the two German journalists, who at the time of arrest were interviewing Sakineh's son, were transferred to Tabriz prison on Tuesday October 26, 16 days after their arrest. The whereabouts of Sajjad remain unknown.

Our sources suggest that Sajjad, particularly during his first days of detention, was severely tortured, and that Houtan was harassed & beaten. Their interrogations have mainly been about their contacts with foreign media networks and the Campaign to Save Sakineh. ...

The International Committees against Execution and Stoning call upon all international humanitarian institutions, organizations, and people who have participated in the Campaign to Save Sakineh to condemn the Islamic regime for savagery and crime against these innocent people, and ask that they intensify their activities to free Sakineh, Sajjad, Houtan and the two German journalists.

4:36PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

24 Hours to Save Sakineh ! !
Iranian authorities could kill Sakineh Ashtiani today!!

This July, a global outcry saved her from death by stoning. Now, the Iranian government has issued execution orders based on trumped-up charges -- and she could be killed within a day. We have only a few hours to get world leaders with influence in Iran to do all they can to save her life.

Fill in the form below to send an emergency message directly to the leaders of Turkey, Brazil, and key UN nations who could sway Iran to halt the execution. These leaders heeded our calls in July and August, and their intervention made the difference. Now they must hear from us again, massively, and respond quickly. If enough of us raise our voices now, an outrage and a tragedy may yet be averted.

Urge leaders to help Sakineh now!

11:56AM PDT on Oct 27, 2010

It's difficult to see all the comments about this article, there are so many. So you more recent commenters apparently don't know that Sakineh is a widow, and her husband was no longer alive when the adultery supposedly took place. Her teen-age children who are very active in the campaign to save her say that there was no adultery and the charges are bogus, trumped up.

In any event, it is completely exaggerated and an outrage to give a woman 99 lashes for adultery, whether or not she is innocent. To stone her for that or anything, is an outrage.

10:47AM PDT on Oct 27, 2010

adultery is wrong. okay, fine. who gives a damn?! for pete sake people! we're talking about TORTURING AND MURDERING someone! for what? because she ALLEGEDLY slept with someone who was not her husband? F*CK the adultery! what about BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS?
and whoever said that women in the US arent treated like second class citizens is KIDDING THEMSELVES!
women make 77 cents for every dollar that men make FOR THE SAME WORK. they typically earn LESS than that if they're women of color. lesbians and transgendered women can be fired, in 29 states, REGARDLESS of job performance or merit, simply for being themselves.

women are ROUTINELY beaten, raped, assaulted, ignored, fired, passed over for promotion, deprived of merit and discriminated against in hundreds of ways SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY'RE WOMEN!


GOVERNMENTS justify violence and discrimination against the citizenry all the time! DO NOT pretend the same kind of mindset doesnt exist in your own country!

7:23AM PDT on Oct 27, 2010

Re Mark's comment - yes, adultery is wrong, but the authorities in Iran are behaving exactly like the people who brought a woman taken in adultery before Jesus for judgement - the man involved has disappeared into thin air, and is not charged (OK, I can't prove it in Ashtiani's case, but they'd surely have said so by now if they were stoning him as well).
And Jesus' response was to say that the person without sin should cast the first stone, after which, when all the accusers had slunk away, he told the woman to "Go and sin no more".

12:20AM PDT on Oct 26, 2010

6:39AM PDT on Oct 25, 2010

Of course Death is not a fair punishment but Adultery is very wrong even without a religious view You must accept responsibility for your selfish action.Your marriage vow is about your honor and your respect of your chosen husband.

8:46PM PDT on Oct 23, 2010

Things may not be perfect in America...but I thank God I live here---women are not second class citizens or chattel!!! So very sad for the men in the middle east.....none of you will ever know true love until you see women as equals or betters!!!! Why are the men not mentioned in these "crimes"...takes two!!! Oh, and it's nice to be in a nation where church and state are can't legislate morality---I wish the people of these nations would stand up for their women...we all make mistakes, I don't believe they all call for the death penalty...

2:16PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

The attempt to secure a murder conviction reeks of face saving. Surely the length of her custody so far should be retribution enough for anything that she has done - especially as adultery seems to be a punishable offence only for women under shari'a.

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