Global Rallies for Iranian Woman Sentenced to Stoning Death

Beyond the Veil| The death sentence of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani remains in place, although Iranian officials have bowed to international pressure saying she will not be stoned to death. Ashtiani has already received 99 lashes for what is called an illicit relationship outside marriage. The death sentence is connected to the murder of Sakineh’s husband by her alleged lover.

She has been in jail in the north-western city of Tabriz since 2005 and officials say that now she will be hanged, not stoned.

At her website, the list of illuminaries offering support include: NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Diane von Furstenberg, Trudi Styler, and Ariana Huffington. The Guardian reported earlier this week that the defendant has been ordered to name her supporters.

Sakineh is represented by international human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei,who has volunteered her services to save her. The international campaign was originally launched by her children.

Unlike many stoning cases in Iran, where the woman convicted of adultery is abandoned by her family, Sakineh’s children have launched a strong defence of their mother. Her 22-year-old son, Sajad, who initially wrote an open letter pleading for his mother’s release, has been asked by Iranian officials to switch off his mobile and not to talk to media. He has been summoned to the Iranian intelligence service twice in the last week. via The Guardian

Last week, Iran imposed a media blackout over Mohammadi Ashtiani’s death sentence, banning newspapers, agencies and TV Channels in Iran from reporting any news about her case.

The Guardian UK reports that 15 people are currently sentenced to death by stoning in Iran.