An Iranian woman named Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani could be stoned to death at any time for the crime of adultery. The sentence was based on a confession which she now says was false, and which was extracted from her under duress.
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Below the jump are excerpts from the accompanying article at CNN:
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Activist: Iranian Mother of Two to be Stoned to Death
(CNN) — An Iranian human rights activist warns Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, could be stoned to death at any moment under the terms of a death sentence handed down by Iranian authorities.
Only an international campaign designed to pressure the regime in Tehran can save her life, according to Mina Ahadi, head of the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty.
“Legally it’s all over,” Ahadi said Sunday. “It’s a done deal. Sakineh can be stoned at any minute.”
“That is why we have decided to start a very broad, international public movement. Only that can help.”
Ashtiani, 42, will be buried up to her chest, according to an Amnesty International report citing the Iranian penal code. The stones that will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause pain but not so large as to kill her immediately.
Ashtiani, who is from the northern city of Tabriz, was convicted of adultery in 2006.
She was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes, human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei said Thursday in a telephone interview from Tehran.
She later retracted that confession and has denied wrongdoing. Her conviction was based not on evidence but on the determination of three out of five judges, Mostafaei said. She has asked forgiveness from the court but the judges refused to grant clemency.
Iran’s supreme court upheld the conviction in 2007.
Mostafaei believes a language barrier prevented his client from fully comprehending court proceedings. Ashtiani is of Azerbaijani descent and speaks Turkish, not Farsi.