Iranian woman escapes stoning death sentence, but could be hanged instead

Iranian woman escapes stoning death sentence, but could be hanged instead July 9, 2010

IRAN has imposed a media blackout over the case of a 43-year-old mother of two who was sentenced to be stoned to death following her adultery conviction. Her fate is still unclear despite an apparent “reprieve”.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtian
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been in prison for five years, and has received 99 lashes, is still facing execution by hanging after being convicted of adultery, her son told the Guardian today.
Newspapers, agencies and TV channels in Iran have been banned from reporting Mohammadi Ashtiani’s death sentence, despite an international campaign launched by her children, which has been joined by politicians and celebrities from all over the world.
Last night the Iranian embassy in London issued an opaque statement saying that Mohammadi Ashtiani would not be stoned to death.
According to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran, she will not be executed by stoning.
The statement was not reported inside Iran and neither was the news of stoning death sentences for 15 other Iranians.
Said an Iranian journalist from Tehran who asked not to be named:

It’s not the first time we are banned from reporting a stoning case, but because of the sensitivity over Sakineh’s case the censorship for her story is even stricter.
We are banned from reporting any details about her case. If they think that it [stoning to death] is an Islamic rule, why are they afraid of it so much? I think that the statement issued by Iran’s embassy in London is just to calm down the situation. Once the outrage has cooled off, they might hang Sakineh instead.

Iran has not stoned a woman to death since 2007 when the execution of Mahboubeh M sparked outcry in Iran. She had been forced to confess to adultery.
Said Soheila Vahdati, a human rights activist in California:

They told her that they’ll pour boiling water on her head if she refuses to confess that she had sex with another man except her husband. They executed her in secret and we were all informed when her death sentence was completed.

Mahboubeh’s story became known only when an official witness of her death revealed that she had been buried alive up to her shoulders while the guards stoned her to death.
A number of men have been stoned to death in recent years.
Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, Sajad, 22, who began the campaign to save her, said the embassy’s statement has not stopped him worrying for his mother.

They just said that she won’t be stoned, it doesn’t mean that she won’t be executed. She’s still on death row.

A prisoner reprieved before stoning may be hanged, as was the case for Abdollah Farivar in 2008. Farivar, convicted of “illicit relationship outside marriage”, was initially sentenced to death by stoning but later hanged when a campaign for his case attracted worldwide attention.

An Iranian woman at a protest in Brussels highlights the barbarity of death by stoning, in which women are buried up to their necks in front of a crowd of volunteers and killed in a hail of rocks. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters
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  • AngieRS
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  • drcancerman

    The religion of mushy heads and pieces. Sickening… They still have the courage to yell “death to Israel”, the only democracy in the ME.

  • MrGronk

    This is a criminal code that specifies the size of rock to be used – not too big, because the condemned will die too soon and spoil the lulz. I wouldn’t even call this culture “savage” – savages generally weren’t that into perverted sadism.

  • ZombieHunter

    savages were just undeveloped human beings who didn’t know any better. the psychopaths who run the theocratic nightmare that is Iran know EXACTLY what they’re doing.
    of course it’s all the fault of the CIA and western imperialism blah de fucking blah. when are the decent people of Iran going to finish off what they started after the rigged election protests, maybe give president armoured dinnerjacket a taste of his own medicine.

  • Janstince

    It certainly is a particularly nasty way to execute somebody. I could only hope that anyone condemned to such an atrocious execution would be rendered unconscious or at least knocked out of their pain sensory before death. This is what comes of following the words of madmen written before even the dark ages.
    As to the revolution, I fear that it would become worse before it got better, much like France. The only ones with enough strength and conviction to overthrow the entrenched psychopaths are people even more psychotic. After that, it would be anyone’s guess as to how long the spiral were to continue before the liberal populace would finally stand up and finish what they’ve started. I hope it will not go that way, but history gives me little to go on that hope.

  • I think it’s clear… Shariah causes earthquakes.

  • Richard B

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Are we not told over and over again that we should respect religion, and particularly Islam. They have different practices and cultural traditions that we do not understand but that we should not interfere with. I say leave them to it. Let them have their dark age fun, just as long as they only do it in their own countries.

  • Har Davids

    Richard B, there should be a fuss. There are people who would love to introduce us in the West to their version of law and order, all in the name of their god. We may not be able to stop those sickos from what they like to do in their own countries, but articles like these are a reminder what kind of life we can expect if we allow religion to run the show in our world.
    BTW, is there some kind of ‘logical’ explanation for the fact that a man is only buried to the waist, allowing him a little chance to escape, while a woman is buried to the neck? I can only imagine that very sick men came up with this and they wanted to minimise the possible damage to men, if they were ever convicted and I wouldn’t be surprised if marsh-mellows or fake rocks were used in those cases, giving them ample time to dig themselves out. As for the women who find themselves living in such a sick world: a bullet through the head might be more humane than this.

  • barriejohn

    They have different practices and cultural traditions that we do not understand.
    You sound like a colonialist. What, precisely, do you not understand? These people are not aliens, or a different species from the rest of us!

  • NeoWolfe

    Let’s face it, Islamists think that women are the root of evil. If a woman is raped, it is automatically assumed its because she was flirting or immodest. Therefore, she has brought adultery or fornication upon herself. Rape victims must be punished severely.
    Assmadinajad insists there are no gays in Iran. He must be right, since there are no rapes either, just bad girls. I happen to like bad girls, but, I find myself wondering how many of them are in the deep kind of mess I was as I was escaping religion.
    We’re damaged goods.
    NeoWolfe

  • barriejohn

    Read this:
    http://www.wluml.org/node/4096
    He added: we accept that according to international treaties we had signed, we have no right to have torture or disproportionate punishment, but we believe stoning is neither of them.
    If we had execution as a punishment for adultery instead of stoning, they would again complain that the crime and the punishment are not in proportion with each other-but as you know in Islamic rules, stoning is in lower level than execution because in stoning the defendant has a chance to survive.

    I wonder whether he has figures on the number of people who have survived stoning!

  • tony e

    How can these people always bleat that their religion deserves respect when they are clearly fucked in the head?

  • Angela_K

    I do not know if this is correct, but I read somewhere that death by stoning was introduced to Iran as recently as the 1970’s. Islam, like all religions is an excuse for abuse.

  • elainek123

    ANyone who who says that killing if the laws of the land permit are as bad as the perpetrators.I signed the petition against stoning and was thrilled to hear yesterday she was not to be stoned, and now my elation has been dampened..
    Are they having us for fools, to execute her is against all laws of nature, when their crimes are far worse than anyone can imagine. Be careful for it will be coming here in the future, it must be stopped now. .
    Islam religion must have such mad people in their midst they are not human for anyone who can make up their own laws yet say they are good laws of Allah,are clearly insane when they hate membes of their family.
    They used to have places called lunatic asylums.
    .

  • barriejohn

    Angela: They know full well that it is not found in the Koran – hence all these long-winded attempts to justify it!

  • barriejohn

    Elaine: These people are turning logic on its head. That guy I quoted from above states that two people who leave their partners to set up home themselves don’t deserve the death sentence as they are obviously mentally ill! God forbid that this sort of totalitarian nonsense ever takes hold in the West!!

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I think Richard B is being sarcastic. At least I hope that he is. We are always being told that we should respect religion and religious beliefs and that we should respect peoples rights to hold those beliefs. Is anyone seriously suggesting that I should respect any of this?
    As for why women are buried up to their necks while men are only buried up to their waists, I read somewhere (sorry, can’t remember where) that it’s to stop the woman’s breasts being exposed. FFS!
    Capital punishment itself is wrong but the practise of stoning someone to death, while it may have been acceptable in a stone age society, has no place in the modern world (sorry, just realised, Iran isn’t in the modern world yet is it?).

  • Broadsword

    The stonings are performed by volunteers.
    Are these (I assume) men motivated by Islamic righteousness or are they sadists?
    They’re mad, murderous muslims either way.

  • Broga

    Sick, sick, sick. Why should we give them and their fuckwit prophet and their loathsome mullahs, the time of day? Interesting that Charles Windsor is very popular in Muslim countries. Regarded, in fact as a hero, and he does want to introduce a sympathetic stance to sharia law here.
    Shouldn’t Ratzo and Rowan be protesting about this? Or have they more important things on their minds.

  • Marcus

    I completely agree with Tony E. How can anybody respect a religion that is fundamentally barbaric?

  • Janstince

    Angela – It would make sense if true. That’s when the Islamic fundamentalists overthrew the western-friendly shah and installed the ayatollah. Before then, I heard Iran was actually a (relatively to today) laid back society with modernization ongoing.

  • MrGronk

    Har David
    Women are buried up to their necks because their clothes might tear off and expose their breasts if they could wriggle out. And that would be, you know, disgusting or something.
    This is, of course, the same regime that gets around their own edict against executing virgins by having said virgins raped before execution.
    A year ago I was hopeful the Iranian people could shake this foul regime and religion off. Reports from Hitchens and Amis suggested that young Iranians were beyond fed up and wanted nothing less than western-style secularism. I suspect now that the reports have been self-selecting in their reliance on a small minority of educated, urbanised, young English-speaking Iranians. If a large mass of Iranians remain superstitious rural bumpkins (the powerbase of the Basij militia) then things aren’t going to change for the better soon.

  • Chris

    Proof if proof were needed that Islam, in some quarters anyway, is nothing more than sheer barbarism.

  • Hanging in Iran is not like in the rest of the world – where the condemned is dropped and their neck broken. In Iran they are hoisted up from the ground and slowly strangled. In the town square.