Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

The Iranian Regime Threatens World with Sakineh’s Death

November 02, 2010

UPDATED (November 8, 2010) – After news broke out that Sakineh Ashtiani may be executed on Wednesday November 3rd, the world went in urgent alert mode by protesting the news online. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has not yet been executed, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner announced on November 3rd after speaking to Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

In an additional comment, Ramin Mehmanparast, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman accused the West of shamelessly trying to turn Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case into a human rights issue against the nation [Iran].

Apparently, according to Iranian regime authorities, Ashtiani’s case cannot be considered a human rights issue since she did commit a crime; although it is not entirely clear which crime is being referenced to, adultery or murder [a charge human rights activists insist she was acquitted of], that deserves the sentence of stoning or execution.

It is important to note that throughout the ordeal of human rights activists to clarify Ashtiani’s sentence and attempt to save her life, the Iranian regime authorities have retaliated with denying the facts (E.g. the denial of the stoning sentence for Ashtiani by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other regime authorities). The illegal statements made against Ashtiani, the mishandling of her file [E.g. extracting false confessions from Ashtiani and denying lawyers from viewing her file and visiting her], and the arrest of her son, lawyer, and two German journalists are urgent reasons why her case requires the full attention of human rights lawyers and activists.

Iranian government authorities do not have a universal understanding of human rights or the laws that exist in the country they govern. Based on the Iranian regime’s blatant track record of committing human rights abuses before and after the 2009 post-election uprising of the Iranian people against the government and subsequent illegal detentions of innocent Iranian citizens, the Iranian regime is now, like always, using its weapon of media propaganda to psychologically manipulate the citizens of Iran and even people in the West who are always in search of the “other side of the story”. The goal is to make people believe that human rights activists are the “bad guys” who are using Ashtiani to try to divide and break apart the nation of Iran, when in actuality, the only entity threatened by the efforts of human rights activists is the Iranian regime who digs itself deeper ever day in committing crimes against humanity.

The Iranian regime’s attempts to inflict unfounded fears in people fortunately usually proves fruitless since it is now known that it is the Iranian regime who threatens the world, and it uses Sakineh’s death to do it. Now everyone waits for the Iranian regime’s next move on one of the most twisted human rights cases coming out of Iran in the last year.


ALSO READ: Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on Possible Execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

نگرانی شدید اتحادیه اروپا از احتمال اعدام سکینه

Interview with Bernard Henri-Lévy | Sakineh: An Appeal to Nicolas Sarkozy

By Arthur Nazareth, journalist for Journal du Dimanche (The Sunday Journal) (original report in French) | Translation by Siavosh Jalili for Persian2English

French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Lévy gave an interview to the publication Journal du Dimanche about the imminent execution news. He openly warned the Iranian regime about the repercussions of going through with such an act and swore to stand behind the Ashtiani campaign, even if the Iranian regime actually executes her.

Journal du Dimanche (JDD): We have learnt through your website La régle du jeux that Sakineh Mohammadi’s execution could be carried out tomorrow. What is your reaction?

Bernard Henri-Lévy (BHL): First, well, a word of caution, because, as it is the case with all the information leaving Iran, and particularly all the information that concerns the ordeal of Sakineh Mohammadi [Ashtiani], the news cannot be verified. The Iranian [regime] is playing with our heads. Perhaps they are testing us and trying to anticipate the intensity of our reaction in case they actually go ahead with the execution. Maybe they are acting like all captors and Sakineh is sort of the hostage- and [they are trying] to raise the price of such a political wrangling.

The International Committee against Stoning, which is based in London and Frankfurt, has never been caught with false information since the beginning of this whole ordeal. And therefore, I am afraid that the threat [of the execution] has to be taken seriously, very seriously. The reason, aside from that, is very simple. We became aware last night of a letter sent from the Supreme Court of Tehran to the Execution of Sentences Circuit Bureau in Tabriz demanding the acceleration of carrying out death penalty sentences. Since we were able to cross check the news with Armin Arefi and the Iranian contacts of La Règle du Jeu, we told ourselves, “It would be better to make public opinion aware immediately; it would be better to do more rather than less. If, God forbid, the irreparable is done, we should definitely consider isolating those responsible for this crime[execution].”

JJD: How would this execution be described, if it is carried out?

BHL: It would certainly be a state crime (a crime committed by a state); maybe even a crime against humanity given that through [the execution of] this innocent woman, all the women of Iran, and all the women outside Iran can become the target of fanaticism of Islamists. And then, of course, a message is sent, not specifically to the West, but to all those, whether westerners or not, who believe in democracy, freedom, as well as equality between men and women that “we [the Iranian regime] do not care about your freedom; this [execute] is what we do with your equality. Yes, we are the barbarians, and proud, very proud of being such barbarians. Consider yourselves warned!”

JJD: What can we do, aside from praying?

BHL: React! Do not stop, nor give up the fight. And since we are in France, a great country that has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, we have to use this symbolic weight in favour of the living symbol that Sakineh has become. Putting aside my political disagreements with Nicolas Sarkozy [French President], he made a statement at the end of August for which I am grateful to him. He said, if you remember, that this type of women is the “responsibility” of France. He should very well repeat it, and make it known that his words are mature enough, and carry enough weight to empower morals.

JDD: Have you been in recent hours in contact with [Sarkozy]?

BHL: Indirectly, yes. I know that he takes the threat seriously, and also he takes seriously the commitment he made at the end of August. French diplomacy, if you want my opinion, is not, at this moment, inert and inactive.

JDD: What steps are you considering to take within the next few hours?

BHL: Talk, and talk more. [I will] especially talk to my friends in the American press who are, with some delay due to the time difference, learning about this news which we found out about this morning. Moreover, with your permission, I will try to publish this interview which we are having with the Huffington Post in New York.  Each voice counts. Each minute that passes is a fatal countdown. We must do all that we can to make the Iranian [authorities] understand that if they have decided to proceed with this act, the emotion and the repercussions will be immense on a global scale. Then, we shall see. We have to, if not pray, at least wait until tomorrow morning…

JDD: If the irreparable takes place, what will you do? What will you demand?

BHL: I said it this morning to your colleagues in France Info. If this act is committed-which I say again that I don’t even dare to imagine-those responsible for this crime should definitely be isolated, and face all the moral, political and diplomatic consequences of their actions. For my part, I would think of a second campaign. I will put all the energy that I have invested in the past several months to defend Sakineh to convince everyone that leaders of civilized nations cannot deal face-to-face with Ahmadinejad. I am thinking, in other words, and I am weighing my words here, of launching a public opinion campaign which advocates severing diplomatic ties with Iran. But, I repeat, we are not there yet. Not for the moment, but I hope. Oh yes, I really hope that given the heavy price to be paid for such notoriety, the Iranian regime leaders listen to the voice of wisdom.  It would not hurt if [they] would try it once!  Let us wait and see.

Journal du Dimanche | Sakineh: appel à Nicolas Sarkozy

A candlelight vigil was held on Tuesday night for Sakineh at in Washington D.C., organized by Mission Free Iran

Execution of Sakineh Ashtiani Believed to be Imminent: 5 Things You Should Do NOW

Sakineh Mohammadi: a woman never sentenced to execution

From the blog of  human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei
Translation by Siavosh Jalili for Persian2English

In the blog post of Sakineh’s lawyer who fled Iran, Mohammad Mostafaei stated that, as far as he is concerned, a sentence of execution [by hanging] was never presented in Ashtiani’s case. Mostafaei insists that the method of death issued to Ashtiani has always been stoning. In contrast to the facts, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered false news at the NYC UN General Assembly in September 2010, stating that the sentence of stoning never existed for Ashtiani.

Mohammad Mostafaei: I read and heard on the news sites that Ms. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is supposed to be executed tomorrow in Tabriz prison. As far as I, her lawyer, am concerned, she has never been sentenced to *execution. That is why I find this news very interesting. How can we, and how dare we to issue a death sentence to a woman who needs our support? And even worse, issue a statement specifying the time of the execution? How can we leave Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s only free child, her daughter Saeedeh, [living] with the nightmare of execution for her mother and[, at the same time,] be pleased that we have made noise?

Ms. Mohammadi Ashtiani is in prison. Sajjad, her son, who made a lot of effort to save his mother, has also been illegally detained. However, 18 year old Saeedeh is not in prison, and is impatiently waiting for the release of her brother who is her sole supporter. More importantly, she is waiting to one day embrace her mother outside of prison.

Sakineh has been sentenced to death by stoning, a charge for which there is no evidence of. In the case of the murder [of her husband], there is no execution [issued] in her case. Sakineh Mohammadi has suffered a lot, and her children have hurt a lot too. They just want to see their mother free. They don`t want their mother to be executed, and she will not be executed, nor do they want her to be stoned. It is possible to lift this punishment from this defenseless woman.

Sakineh Mohammadi is unaware that her case has become international, and that she has a lot of support globally. She has no idea many people outside the prison are sad and worried about her life being taken away. Even though Sakineh Mohammadi is alone, many nations are behind her. That is why it is not in the interest of the Islamic Republic to harm her.

She has fulfilled all the demands of the judicial and security authorities. She appeared on TV and made statements against herself and others in the hope of being released soon. I hope stoning is abolished in our country. This punishment is unbecoming of Iran and Iranians. If we think adultery should be a crime, the punishment should be such that the defendant can return back to society. The punishments that take one’s life have are not recognized [by people] nationally and internationally. Carrying out such sentences, in any case, is deplorable.

*Translator Note: Iranian authorities distinguish between execution and punishments like Qesas (an eye for an eye) and stoning. Stoning is considered God’s undeniable and unchangeable law and Qesas is a right that belongs to the family of the victim and it is authorized by God.

Mr. Mostafaei is stating that Sakineh has been sentenced to stoning (which is a form of a death sentence), but recent news has indicated that her sentence might be changed to a “regular” execution (usually carried out by hanging) for the murder of her husband.

«احتمال اجرای حکم اعدام سکینه محمدی آشتیانی»

در حالی که صدور حکم سنگسار و اعدام برای یک زن ایرانی واکنش‌های تند جهانی را در پی داشته است، گزارش‌هایی درباره احتمال اجرای حکم اعدام سکینه محمدی‌آشتیانی در روز چهارشنبه منتشر شده است.

خبرگزاری فرانسه روز سه‌شنبه به نقل از فعالان فرانسوی حقوق بشر از احتمال اجرای حکم اعدام سکینه محمدی‌آشتیانی در روز چهارشنبه خبر داده است.

شریه فرانسوی لارگل دوژو،‌ که توسط برنار هانری لوی، فیلسوف سرشناس فرانسه منتشر می‌شود، روز سه‌شنبه با انتشار بیانیه‌ای اعلام کرده است: «سکینه محمدی‌آشتیانی ممکن است فردا در معرض خطر اعدام قرار گیرد.»

در همین حال گروهی از فعالان حقوق بشر و حامیان خانم آشتیانی در تجمع در مقابل ساختمان سفارت جمهوری اسلامی در پاریس نسبت به «مجازات غیرانسانی» این مادر ۴۳ ساله ایرانی اعتراض کردند.

بر اساس اعلام فعالان حقوق بشر در فرانسه نامه‌ای از سوی دیوان عالی کشور جمهوری اسلامی ایران به دایره اجرای احکام در زندان تبریز ارسال شده است که به منزله مجوزی برای «اجرای فوری حکم اعدام سکینه آشتیانی» محسوب می‌شود.

فعالان حقوق بشر در فرانسه می‌گویند، از طریق کمیته بین‌المللی برای نجات سکینه آشتیانی که در برلین مستقر است از وجود چنین نامه‌ای با خبر شده‌اند.

سکینه محمدی آشتیانی به اتهام «زنای محصنه» و نیز مشارکت در قتل همسرش از سال ۱۳۸۴ در زندان به سر می‌برد. وی در ابتدا در موضوع «ارتباط نامشروع» به ۹۹ ضربه شلاق محکوم شده بود که این حکم در مورد وی اجرا شد، اما با باز شدن پرونده قتل همسرش، پرونده پیشین خانم آشتیانی بار دیگر به جریان افتاد.

براساس اعلام مقام‌های مختلف جمهوری اسلامی، سکینه محمدی آشتیانی که از سال ۱۳۸۴ در زندان به سر می‌برد، از سوی دادگاه به اتهام زنای محصنه به سنگسار و به اتهام قتل همسرش به اعدام به وسیله دار محکوم شده است.

به دنبال واکنش‌های گسترده جهانی نسبت به صدور حکم سنگسار برای خانم آشتیانی، مقام‌های قضایی جمهوری اسلامی اعلام کردند، حکم سنگسار وی متوقف شده، ولی حکم اعدام این زن ایرانی همچنان به قوت خود باقی خواهد ماند.

در تیرماه سال جاری، رئیس دادگستری استان آذربایجان شرقی اعلام کرده بود، بنا بر دستور رئیس قوه قضائیه حکم سنگسار سکینه محمدی آشتیانی متوقف شده‌ است و ستاد حقوق بشر قوه قضائیه جمهوری اسلامی نیز با صدور اطلاعیه‌ای اعلام کرد که «با وجود قطعیت حکم صادره، با پیگیری‌های ستاد حقوق بشر تاکنون این حکم به مرحله اجرا در نیامده‌ است.»

در این میان یک فعال ایرانی حقوق بشر نیز با اشاره به احتمال اعدام خانم آشتیانی گفته است: «اگر تصمیمی برای اعدام وی گرفته شده باشد،‌ ممکن است وی روز چهارشنبه اعدام شود و ما خیلی نگران هستیم.»

خبر احتمال اعدام سکینه محمدی‌آشتیانی در حالی منتشر شده است که در اواخر شهریور ماه پس از آن که محمود احمدی‌نژاد منکر صدور حکم سنگسار برای این زن تبریزی شده بود، رامین مهمانپرست، سخنگوی وزارت امور خارجه جمهوری اسلامی تاکید کرده بود، هیچ گونه حکم قطعی برای خانم آشتیانی به دلیل «روابط نامشروع» صادر نشده است.

وی در این باره اظهار داشته بود: «این خانم دو جرم داشته، یکی قتل که بعد از پیگیری موضوع قتل معلوم شده است وی با افراد متعددی ارتباط نامشروعی داشته که البته تاکنون هیچ حکم قطعی صادر نشده است.»

پیشتر محمود احمدی‌نژاد در گفت‌وگویی با شبکه تلویزیونی ای‌بی‌سی آمریکا، منکر صدور حکم سنگسار برای سکینه محمدی ‌آشتیانی شده و گفته بود: «این خانم به هیچ وجه به سنگسار محکوم نشده‌ است، خبری که در رسانه‌های امریکایی منتشر شده کاملاً جعلی است.»

همزمان یکی از فعالان عضو کمیته بین‌المللی مبارزه با سنگسار اعلام کرده است،‌ اعضای این کمیته قصد دارند روز سه‌شنبه یک راهپیمایی دو روزه از پاریس تا بروکسل برگزار کنند تا بدین وسیله توجه رسانه‌های خبری را به پرونده سکینه آشتیانی جلب کرده و دولت‌ها را به استفاده از فشار دیپلماتیک علیه ایران ترغیب کنند.

صدور حکم سنگسار برای سکینه محمدی‌آشتیانی واکنش گسترده کشورهای مختلف و به ویژه کشورهای غربی را درپی داشته است و تاکنون شمار زیادی از مقام‌های رسمی این کشورها خواستار آزادی این زن ایرانی ‌شده‌اند.

پیشتر نیز لوییز ایناسیوداسیلوا، رئیس‌جمهور برزیل، از محمود احمدی‌نژاد‌ و آیت‌‌الله علی خامنه‌ای خواسته بود تا اجازه دهند خانم آشتیانی به برزیل رفته و از آن کشور پناهندگی بگیرد.

اعدام سکينه محمدي آشتياني، زني که محکوم به اعدام نشده است

در سايتهاي خبري خواندم و شنيدم که قرار است خانم سکينه محمدي فردا صبح در زندان تبريز اعدام شود. تا جايي که من به عنوان وکيل ايشان اطلاع دارم خانم محمدي نه در گذشته و نه در حال به اعدام محکوم نشده اند. به همين دليل اين خبر برايم بسيار تعجب برانگيز و جالب بود. ما چگونه مي توانيم و جرات مي کنيم براي زني که نياز به حمايت دارد حکم اعدام صادر کنيم؟ و بدتر از آن زمان اجراي حکم اعدام را نيز مشخص کرده و اطلاعيه و بيانيه صادر کنيم که خانم سکينه محمدي قرار است دو روز ديگر که زمانش فردا منقضي مي شود اعدام گردد؟ چگونه مي توانيم تنها فرزند آزاد سکينه محمدي يعني سعيده دختر وي را در کابوس اعدام قرار دهيم و دل خوش باشيم که جنجال به پا کرده ايم؟

خانم سکينه محمدي در زندان است پسرش سجاد که تلاش هاي بسياري براي نجات مادرش نمود نيز در بازداشت غير قانوني به سرمي برد اما سعيده دختر 18 ساله سکينه محمدي در حال حاضر بيرون از زندان بوده و هر لحظه منتظر است تا برادرش که تنها پشتيبانش بوده است از زندان آزاد گردد و از همه مهم تر و خوشايند تر مادرش را در خارج از زندان در آغوش گيرد.

سکينه محمدي به اتهام زناي محصنه، اتهامي که هيچ دليل و مدرکي بر انتساب اين جرم به وي ندارد به مجازات سنگسار محکوم شده است و در مورد پرونده قتل نيز هيچ مجازات اعدامي در پرونده اش نيست. سکينه محمدي در زندگي خود کم عذاب نکشيده است و فرزندانش نيز کم نسوخته اند. فرزندان سکينه محمدي خواهان آن هستند که مادرشان را آزاد ببينند. نه مي خواهند مادرشان اعدام شود که نخواهد شد و نه مي خواهند سنگسار شود که مي توان مجازات سنگسار را از دوش اين زن بي پناه برداشت.

اينکه اين پرونده جنبه بين المللي به خود گرفته و حمايت هاي بسياري از اين زن مي شود را خود سکينه محمدي بي اطلاع است. او نمي داند که چه کساني بيرون از زندان غصه و نگرانند تا هرگز حياتش سلب نشود. او نمي داند که چه تعداد مدافع در کل دنيا دارد. سکينه محمدي در عين حال که زني تنهاست اما ملتهاي بسياري پشت و پناهش هستند بنابراين بر جمهوري اسلامي نيز روا نيست تا بلايي بر سر اين زن مظلوم آورد. اين زن تمام خواسته هاي مقامات امنيتي و قضايي را تامين نمود. جلوي دوربين تلوزيون حاضر شد و عليه خود و ديگران اظهاراتي بيان کرد تا شايد هر چه زودتر از زندان آزاد گردد بنابراين هر گونه لطمه به جان و جسم اين زن بي سواد و زجر کشيده و روستايي بر خلاف وجدان و اخلاق و انسانيت است.

اميدوارم مجازات سنگسار از قوانين کشورمان برداشته شود اين مجازات مجازاتي نيست که در خور ايران و ايراني ها باشد بنابراين مي بايست هر چه زودتر حذف گردد و اگر قائل به آن باشيم که زنا جرم محسوب مي شود مجازاتي برايش در نظر گيريم که مجرم بتواند به جامعه بازگردد. مجازاتهاي سالب حيات امروزه ديگر هيچ جايگاهي – چه ملي و چه بين المللي – ندارد و در همه حال اعمال و اجراي آن محکوم است.

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