An Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani, faces execution after being convicted in 2006 of adultery. Her sentence is to be stoned to death. From my western perspective, it’s hard to believe that this is a reality for a woman. However, it’s a real possibility for Sakineh Ashtiani.
According to CNN: “Her lawyer, Mohommad Mostafaei, told CNN that Ashtiani confessed to the crime after being subjected to 99 lashes. She later recanted that confession and has denied wrongdoing, he said. Her conviction was based not on evidence but on the determination of three out of five judges, he added. She has asked forgiveness from the court but the judges refused to grant clemency. Iran’s supreme court upheld the conviction in 2007.”
What is a stoning execution? In Iran, a person is buried in a hole in the ground where stones are stragetically thrown at them to create the most pain. It’s a barbaric, uncivilized punishment for a crime such as adultery.
Because of growing international political pressure, instead of stoning Sakineh Ashtiani might face hanging. But it’s too difficult to predict the outcome. Her son, Sajjad Mohammedie Ashtiani, has appealed to Iran’s courts to spare her life. However, I fear that her fate has already been determined.
It appears to me, that the only crime Ms. Ashtiani committed was being a woman.