A 42-year-old mother of two faces the punishment of death by stoning in Iran after authorities convicted of adultery. And according to Mina Ahadi, who heads the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty, only international pressure can help save her.
As Ahadi told CNN: “Legally it’s all over. It’s a done deal. Sakineh can be stoned at any minute.”
The woman, Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, who is from Tabriz, was convicted of “adultery while being married” in 2006 and has already received a punishment of 99 lashes. Should the execution go forward, Ashtiani will be buried up to her chest (for men it is to the waist) and then pelted with stones that are large enough to inflict severe damage but no so large as to kill the person instantly, says Amnesty International,citing Article 104 of Iran’s Penal Code.
Here’s how Ashtiani’s case reached this point, as reported in the Guardian:
Sakineh already endured a sentence of 99 lashes, but her case was re-opened when a court in Tabriz suspected her of murdering her husband. She was acquitted, but the adultery charge was reviewed and a death penalty handed down on the basis of “judge’s knowledge” – a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present.
Mohammad Mostafaei told CNN last week that Ashtiani may not have been fully capable of understanding the court proceedings due to the fact that she speaks Turkish and not Farsi.
Her son Sajad told the Guardian recently, “She’s innocent, she’s been there for five years for doing nothing.”
Amnesty International, citing Ashtiani’s case among others, called for Iran to halt all executions last week.