Call on the Government of Iran to stop the imminent execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani sentenced to death by stoning
Information received by Equality Now suggests that Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani has been sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery with two men. The verdict is final and could be implemented at any time according to credible sources. Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani is said to have been in jail in Tabriz for the past five years.
She was initially sentenced to 99 lashes on 15 May 2006 by a court in the city if Osku in the North West Iranian province of East Azerbaijan for the lesser crime of having “illicit relations” with the two men, in other words, engaging in conduct that did not constitute sexual intercourse. However, on 10 September 2006 her case was taken up again by a different court, the Sixth Branch of the Penal Court of East Azerbaijan Province, where the charge of adultery was brought against her.
Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani denied the charge and, as far as Equality Now is aware, no relevant evidence was admitted against her. She was convicted solely on the basis of the judge’s opinion that she had committed adultery and was sentenced to death by stoning.
Iranian law indicates that a second charge on the same offence of which a person has already been convicted may not be brought. In this case Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani has already been lashed for the offence of having illicit relations. We have been informed that two of the five councilors appointed by the court stated that in their opinion there was no legal proof for the charge of adultery.
Stoning to death violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party. The ICCPR clearly prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. It also limits the imposition of the death penalty “only for the most serious crimes.” The United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee have determined that a wide range of specific offences fall outside the scope of the “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty may be imposed and this includes adultery.
Please write to the Iranian officials below calling for Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging and stoning in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.
His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq LarijaniHead of the JudiciaryVali Asr Avenue, above the intersection Pasteur,Azizi Street 2, No. 4,Office of Public Relations and Judicial ProceduresTehranIranEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also contact the Iranian embassy in your country. The following link may help you find the contact information: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Iran
In the United States please contact: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran(Housed in the Embassy of Pakistan)2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20007Phone: (202) 965-4990, (202) 965-4992, (202) 965-4993, (202) 965-4994, (202) 965-4999Fax: (202) 965-1073 Email: email@example.com
In the United Kingdom please contact: Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran16 Prince's Gate London SW7 1PTPhone: 0207 225 3000Fax: 0207 589 4440Email: firstname.lastname@example.org