Lately, I’ve been thinking about the Iranian women named Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. On July 12th, I wrote an entry titled Justice is Stoned and how Ashtitani might face possible stoning due to a false conviction of adultery in Iran. What has happened since then?
The country of Brazil has made an offer of asylum for Ashtiani. According to CNN: “Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had made a previous offer for asylum, raising Ashtiani’s hopes for survival. Brazil’s ambassador in Tehran has now officially made the offer at Iran’s foreign ministry, according to the state-run news service Agencia Brasil.” Reports say that Ashtiani would accept Brazil’s offer. However, just last month Iran rejected a similar informal proposal.
It appears that the Iranian government cannot be trusted. Mohanmmed Mostafaei, Ashtaini’s attorney, is currently seeking asylum in Norway. Unfortunately, his wife and brother-in-law were arrested and imprisoned in Iran. However, they have been released but the intimidation has escalated. As a result, Mohammed Mostafei is fearful for his family and hopes for a reunion soon.
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, has stepped into the debate. Clinton:”The United States is deeply concerned that Iran continues to deny its citizens their civil rights and intimidate and detain those Iranians who seek to hold their government accountable and stand up for the rights of their fellow citizens.”
This isn’t the first human rights incident. The fate of the Iranian 2009 election protestors is still uncertain. Also, Ebrahim Hamidi is an 18 -year-old man charged with homosexuality and facing execution without legal representation. Currently, he is facing imminent death.
While researching Ashtitani’s fate, I discovered the story of sixteen-year-old Atefah Sahaaleh. She was teenager charged with “crimes against chastity.” Atefah was publicly hanged in Neka, Iran in 2004. The story is tragic; Atefah’s mother died in a car accident and her father was a drug addict.
Will Ashtiani’s fate end up like Atefah’s? Hope is fading since her lawyer is currently fighting for asylum. Her sentence has been delayed but according to ABC News reporter Jim Sciutoo: “Iranian officials continue to emphasize that she’s been convicted of murder, a crime punishable by hanging in Iran.”
Ashtiani, Atefah, and Ebrahim represent everyone. There is a clear distinction between right and wrong when it comes to basic human rights. Hopefully, justice will find them someday…
First in a series of five videos from the BBC: