Friday, 6 August 2010

Death for Adultery?

I copied this from a US website called "Care2 Action Center":

"In May 2006, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two children, was sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for adultery. Her conviction was based on a forced confession that she later retracted.
She has received a temporary reprieve from stoning, but now Iran's judiciary has changed her charges and sentence to execution by hanging. The Iranian regime has changed the method of execution and executed prisoners in the past without informing their families and without public notice."
I am sure that everyone who reads this will be as horrified as I am. The fact that a human being can face death for what must be one of the most common lapses in judgement made by married men and women the world over is utterly outrageous.If everyone in the world who committed adultery was executed, tens of thousands of people would have to die. Even if this lady did commit adultery - and it is disputed - there appears to be a double standard at work in Iran. I am reliably informed that Iran's Revolutionary Guards regularly extract sexual favours from so-called "dissident" women (and others) in return for not arresting or harassing them. Let's hope that this poor woman can be helped by international pressure. She is by no means an isolated case of human rights abuse in Iran, which can be verified by visiting the Amnesty International website by clicking on the logo on this page, and then clicking on "Iran". 
And this is the lady concerned:


  1. I'm opposed to capital punishment, which is simply judicial murder, but if a society insists on killing its citizens, it should be done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Stoning must be a slow and agonising death, although hanging is not necessarily a quick death either.

    The Blogmeister tells us that Revolutionary Guards blackmail women into sex (in effect rape), which shows how state-enforced morality usually leads to double standards and the oppression of women.

    It's easy to write to such statements in the abstract, but when faced with the reality of an ordinary woman such as Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani facing a barbaric execution, words don't seem to be enough. And worse, her case isn't unique.

  2. Mrs Ashtiani's defence lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, has been driven out of Iran after 3 members of his family were arrested by the authorities.
    Iran, says Amnesty International (AI), is second only to China in the number of executions recorded annually. At least 346 people were executed in 2008, including child offenders. Two executions were carried out by stoning.

    Legislation passed last year extended the application of the death penalty to audiovisual crimes such as the production of pornographic material. Other legislation currently being debated would introduce capital punishment for apostasy, heresy and witchcraft.
    The Iranian regime has also been known to execute gays in public.
    Kurds and members of the Baha'i faith are marked down for severe persecution by the regime.
    AI is not allowed to carry out research in Iran.

  3. I left out another persecuted minority in Iran - Christians. Life has been tough for them since 1979, following the Revolution. Gradually their freedom to practice their faith has been restricted. Ordinances curtailing the rights of Christians were in existence since 1979. They are now more rigorously enforced than before. Christians can not meet with Muslims in order to share their faith; Muslims are not allowed to visit a Christian church. Ahmadinejad applies the laws more stringently in order to prevent Muslims from converting to Christianity. And for Muslims who become "apostates" (i.e. become Christians or simply stop being Muslims), life can be very grim. Some extreme Muslim scholars insist that such people be put to death, according to their interpretation of the Qu'ran.

  4. It's only a matter of time before this regime loses power as the ageing religious extremists die off and the youthful majority of Iranians take back their country.

  5. I hope so, nev. Mind you, that's what we thought back in 1979, when the Shah was overthrown. I was still at University then, and a lot of young Iranian lefties - friends of mine - were looking forward to going back and establishing a democratic state.Those hopes were dashed, and the Left and the Liberals in Iran were crushed. i often wonder what happened to those Iranian friends of mine - but perhaps I'm better off not knowing!

  6. Friends from Iran at that time told me that the revolution was a broad base coalition. After the Shah was disposed the Islamic fanatics seized control from the rest of coalition, Marxist, feminists, trade unionists, progressives, and leftist of all sorts, murdering something from 35,000 to 50,000+ people. This is a good lesson too for those who think they can ally themselves with these kind of people. Unfortunately the influence spread through the region and grew stronger. I was busy in Sidon and Beruit in 1996 running a project that we had , I decided to employ mainly Maronites who were Christian lebanese, it was these guys who told me about Hezbollah who I had never heard of before. Hezbollah were created around the time that the Shah was disposed and it caused a lot of Christian Lebanese to leave lebanon which shifted the balance in favour of a muslim majority which remains today and is creating a strong following for Hezbollah which will create a major problem for Israel in the coming years. Hezbollah are not a buch of ragheads but a highly sophisticated military regime with all the lates firepower and technical gear supplied by Iran and Syria. Scary stuff !

  7. A flagrant case of injustice, Nev, but executoin of minors is nothing new in Iran. Amnesty International defines a "child offender" as a person convicted of crimes they committed when they were under the age of 18.

    In a report entitled Iran: the Last Executioner of Children, Amnesty says that since 1990, 24 child offenders have been executed in Iran - more than in any other country in the world.

    Worse still, the above-mentioned report came out in 2007. Nothing much has changed.