The Anti-Iran Campaign

12 August 2010

Iran TV airs ‘confession’ from woman facing stoning

The BBC’s Jon Leyne explains what the footage showed

Iranian state TV has aired what it says is a confession by a woman under threat of being stoned to death for adultery.

In the interview shown on Wednesday, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani purportedly admits conspiring to murder her husband in 2005 and denounces her lawyer.

After an international outcry, Iranian officials temporarily halted her stoning sentence last month, but there are fears she will now be hanged.

The 43-year-old had said she was forced to confess to the charges of adultery.

In May 2006, a criminal court in East Azerbaijan province found Ms Ashtiani guilty of having had an “illicit relationship” with two men following the death of her husband. She was given 99 lashes.

But that September, during the trial of a man accused of murdering her husband, another court reopened an adultery case based on events that allegedly took place before her husband died.

Despite retracting a confession she said she had been forced to make under duress, Ms Ashtiani was convicted of “adultery while being married” and sentenced to death by stoning.

Murder case

The mother-of-two’s alleged confession to complicity in her husband’s murder, which was made in Azeri and dubbed into Persian, was aired on one of the main state-run television channels.

There was no mention of the stoning sentence and the focus of the interview was moved away from the allegation of adultery.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (file photo)

The woman, whose face was pixelated, admitted her part in the 2005 killing, despite Ms Ashtiani having earlier told Western media that she had been acquitted of the charge.

She said her husband’s cousin had told her he wanted to kill her husband, but that she had assumed this was a joke.

“Later I realised that he was a killer,” the woman said.

One day the man came to her house “with all the required equipment,” she added.

“He had brought electric devices, wire and gloves. He then killed my husband by electrocuting him. He asked me before to send my children to their grandmother’s house.”

The woman also criticised her lawyer, Mohammed Mostafaie, for interfering in the case.

“Why has he taken my case to the TV? Why has he disgraced me?”

Mr Mostafaie has fled Iran and is now seeking asylum in Norway.

Iran defiance

Another of Ms Ashtiani’s lawyers has said that she was tortured for two days in prison to force her to make her televised confession on Wednesday.

Human rights activists fear that she is now in danger of imminent execution.

The BBC’s Tehran correspondent, Jon Leyne, says the Iranian authorities are clearly trying to move the focus away from the adultery charge and the stoning sentence, and to brand Ms Ashtiani a murderer.

The airing of the TV confession is a sign that she could soon be executed, probably by hanging, our correspondent says.

It seems the Iranian officials are sending a tough message to Western media and human rights groups that if they interfere in Iranian affairs and cause embarrassment, it will be counter-productive, he adds.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

  • Held on death row in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan since 2006
  • 43 years old; two children
  • May 2006: 99 lashes for “illicit relationship” with two men following the death of her husband
  • September 2006: Case re-opened during trial of a man accused of murdering her husband; convicted of “adultery while being married”; sentenced to death by stoning despite retracting a confession
  • 8 July 2010: Iran suspends stoning sentence, says case will be reviewed
  • 11 July: East Azerbaijan judiciary says she was also convicted for conspiracy to murder husband
  • 24 July: One of her lawyers flees Iran
  • 7 August: Guardian publishes her statement that she was never convicted on murder charge
  • Iran’s grim history of death by stoning

Radio Free Europe Lawyers Say Stoning Defendant ‘Tortured’ To Confess On TV 1 hr ago

Washington Post Iran claims woman facing death has confessed 2 hrs ago

Telegraph Iran stoning woman ‘confesses to murder’ on state TV 2 hrs ago

Financial Times* Iran televises confession of ‘adulterous’ woman 2 hrs ago

AFP via Yahoo! Iran stoning woman ‘admits murder conspiracy’ 5 hrs ago

The Guardian

Presidency of Iran

Save Sakineh – Facebook page

Amnesty International




About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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12 Responses to The Anti-Iran Campaign

  1. kruitvat says:

    Hillary Clinton to Iran: ‘Stop using death penalty so much
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday expressed concern about the case of a Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery. Only China uses the death penalty more’.

    Senator Clinton of New York was the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds.
    (Joshua Frank – January 3, 2006 – ‘Hillary Clinton, AIPAC and Iran’ –

  2. kruitvat says:

    On a zionist website:
    … ‘And will our just world, that is, the Western states whose tax funds sponsor the meetings of the women’s rights commission, do anything about it? Will these states veto Iran’s membership in the commission? And will the US, headed by the most pro-human rights president in its history, embark on a loud campaign against the injustice and immediately cut its funding to the commission? We can assume that the answer is “no.”

  3. kruitvat says:

    On AIPAC, America’s pro-Israel lobby (
    AIPAC – The American Israel Public Affairs Committee
    Brazil’s President Offers Asylum to Woman Facing Stoning in Iran –
    In an about-face, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to send the woman convicted of adultery to Brazil.
    August 2 2010

  4. kruitvat says:

    Women, the Taliban and That ‘Time’ Cover
    Robert Dreyfuss
    August 9, 2010

    The latest entry into the trumped-up debate over the fate of women in Afghanistan comes from Judy Bachrach, an editor at Vanity Fair. It’s all part and parcel of a campaign, by some well-meaning people and some not so well-meaning, to justify America’s failing counterinsurgency policy in that devastated nation by raising the banner of women’s rights, a debate kicked off by the now ubiquitous Time magazine cover photograph of an Afghan woman whose face was mutilated, allegedly by a Taliban-allied, reactionary tribal potentate. Referring to a CNN interview of Nancy Pelosi by Christiane Amanpour, Bachrach writes:

    For effect she shoved the photo of the mutilated face right under the speaker’s startled gaze, adding: “To put it right down to its basics, is America going to abandon the women of Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan, again?”

    “To put it right down to its basics—Yes, Christiane. We are. You can bet your ass Nancy’s not going to tell you this, in fact she’ll tell you nothing at all substantive on your show in response to any of your questions, but abandonment is the American way.”

    To her credit, Bachrach does go on to admit that the United States is not in Afghanistan because of the plight of its women but, as Pelosi told Amanpour, “because it’s in our own strategic national interest.” But, since the Time cover hit the newsstands, it’s allowed proponents of the war to argue that America has a moral obligation to defend that country’s woman against the predatory nature of the Taliban.

    However it’s being used by the supporters of the war, it’s an issue that progressives and antiwar activists need to address squarely, too.

    The issue is, what might happen if there is a Taliban restoration in Afghanistan. Now, it’s true that it’s possible to argue that the departure of US and NATO forces might not inevitably lead to a Taliban comeback. It’s even possible to argue that the US presence in Afghanistan makes a Taliban comeback more likely, not less. But that’s not the issue. The question is: might they come back? Might they seize Kabul, or just entrench themselves, in the manner of the autonomous Kurdish zone in Iraq, in the Pashtun areas? Personally, I’m an agnostic on this question. But it’s foolish to dismiss the possibility, even probability. It’s one thing to argue that the Taliban is a complex organism with many moving parts, and that it would be resisted by non-Pashtun minorities in the north and west and by liberal and enlightened Afghans everywhere. Still, it might come back, especially if Pakistan decides that’s the game it wants to play.

    If the Taliban does come back, it would be a bad thing for Afghanistan—and not just for women. Women may have their noses sliced off when they act uppity, and schools for girls may close. But the cultural backwardness and reactionary politics of the Taliban will slice across all sexes, ages and ethnic groups. In other words, the Taliban’s comeback isn’t just bad for women. Both men and women will be forced to live under the benighted and despicable reign of the Taliban’s thugs. Like the reign of the mullahs in Iran, the Taliban is bad news for all. Men and boys, like women and girls, will be forced to abandon modern life; they will be crowded into oppressive Islamist schools, compelled to forget that they live in the twenty-first century, and beaten or killed for listening to music, reading banned books (pretty much everything but the Koran), watching DVDs or flying kites. Tribal and clan leaders who are more enlightened, who’d like to bring Afghanistan into the modern world, will be slaughtered, just like tribal leaders who opposed the Taliban in FATA were obliterated by the hundreds since 2001.

    Is this a women’s issue? I don’t think so. Now, it’s true that the sorts of reactionary drivel that comes from the Taliban is intrinsic to the institutionalized cultural life of that part of the world, in which men come first, women are treated as property, and so on. That is, only part of the deadening and oppressive conditions that existed under Taliban rule 1994-2001 arose because the Taliban were political reactionaries; some of it was already there, deeply ingrained into Afghan life. Indeed, even since 2001 there have been numerous reports of both official and unofficial mistreatment of women and women’s rights by warlords, local and provincial official, and by the supposedly enlightened government in Kabul. It’ s chicken-and-egg problem, and I’m not sure whether Afghanistan in the 1990s was so bad because the Taliban imposed an alien system or because an inherently reactionary system was already there and that that system helped produce the Taliban. Either way, however, the Taliban and its allies are bad news.

    The problem, as I said, can’t be ignored by saying, “Oh, if the US leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban won’t come back.” The fact is, if the United States does leave Afghanistan, it is at least a 50-50 possibility that they’ll storm back into power, and that civil war will result. (The US is leaving Iraq, and there is a real possibility that there, too, the result will be civil war sometime in late 2011 or 2012.)

    What’s sad is the naked attempt by supporters of the war to put the women’s issue out front so shamelessly. That’s because it’s effective. Back in the 1990s, when the Clinton adminstration, Khalilzad et al. were happily ready to make deals with the Taliban-in-power, it was the women’s issue that overthrew those efforts, riled up Hillary Clinton and helped push the Taliban regime into Untouchable Land. Don’t think for a minute that the war supporters who bemoan the issue of women-under-the-Taliban don’t remember that. The fact remains that the forces of reactionary political Islam are dangerous and oppressive, whether its power is wielded by the CIA (in backing the anti-USSR jihad in the 1980s), by Shin Bet (in supporting the rise of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood between 1967 and 1987) or by the ISI.

    Yet the US has neither the right to fix Afghanistan nor the ability. All the economic aid in the world isn’t going to do it, and promises of US postwar assistance to Afghanistan are a joke, if indeed the Taliban comes to power. Can you imagine any US Congress appropriating a dime to help Afghanistan in that case?

    Progressives need to take a cold-eyed look at the consequences of leaving Afghanistan. Pollyannish views and soothing bromides won’t cut it.

    If there is any hope for Afghanistan after the United States leaves, that hope will reside in two places. First, India, Iran, Russia and the ‘Stans will have to assert themselves in support of anti-Taliban Afghans. Second, Pakistan will have to decide whether supporting the most reactionary elements of the Taliban movement is worth continuing a bloody civil war that is the most likely result of America’s departure. As I’ve argued for a long while now, the July 2011 deadline from President Obama ought to light a fuse on American diplomacy aimed at getting all of those parties to underwrite a deal that starts with an accord with the Taliban. I’ve spoken to Indian government officials who recognize that a deal with the Taliban ultimately is what’s needed, even if they’d like to see Pakistan’s influence radically diminished. Perhaps, inside the Taliban, there are relatively more enlightened individuals and pragmatists willing to acknowledge at least the minimal rights of Afghan women. But whether that’s true or not, some sort of deal is going to be cut eventually.

    Is that abandonment? Maybe so.

  5. kruitvat says:

    Save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from being Stoned to Death in Iran, by Donya Jam

    Sakineh M Ashtiani, has two children, and has been imprisoned in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz since 2005. She was already lashed 99 times in 2006. She is now in danger of EXECUTION either by Stoning or Hanging.


    Pictures+Videos from Protests Aug 5-8:

    Save Sakineh! Petition:

    STOP Executions in Iran (project)-
    **Show Solidarity:

    Any questions, feel free to ask

    You can find me on twitter-
    Lets Continue to Write Letters to the United Nations, Human Rights Orgs, Medias..etc

    of 2,310 links:
    International Committee Against Stoning » “Our mother is not a murderer, don’t let them hang her”, .
    9:20pm Aug 12
    Amnesty and UK condemn TV ‘confession’ – World –
    9:14pm Aug 12
    8:46pm Aug 12

    Free All Political Prisoners in Iran

    Save Jafar kazemi Political Prisoner From Execution – Take Action

  6. kruitvat says:


    The Power of Voices

    From 1982 to 1984, I was a teenage political prisoner in Evin Prison in Tehran. I was tortured and raped and watched my friends suffer and many of them die. So many innocent young lives devastated or lost. But the world went on, as if nothing had happened. We felt abandoned and forgotten in Evin.

    On Thursday morning, March 25, 2010, a beautiful sunny day, I stood in Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland and looked on a narrow road sandwiched between two rows of redbrick, two-storey buildings. Unlike the flimsy wooden barracks I had seen in other camps, these were well built and looked quite sturdy. Many tour buses were parked in the parking lot, and there were tourists from all ages and nationalities everywhere. I was on a trip organized by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies. Birds sang in the pale sun, and the clear voice of our young tour guide, Anna, who was knowledgeable and professional, streamed through my headset — but I wasn’t listening. The bricks of Auschwitz were almost identical in colour to those of Evin. I reached out and touched them, and tears blinded me. We had just seen piles of thousands of the shoes of the victims of Auschwitz, and I remembered that in Evin, guards had taken away my white and red Puma running shoes and had given me rubber slippers instead. Where were my shoes and the ones of my prison friends? Had they been destroyed? We entered a barrack, and I looked into a bright, average-sized room with a wooden table in the middle and a few chairs around it. Anna explained that this room was used for arbitrary trials, and most of the prisoners tried here were sentenced to death and executed in the courtyard behind the building. In Evin prison, the Sharia judge who had condemned me to death had probably sat in a similar room and drank tea as he passed on verdicts. My survival was a miracle, but not everyone was as lucky as I was.

    Iran’s political prisons, including Evin, are still quite operational. People are tortured and executed in Iran on a daily basis. When atrocities happen, those who remain silent and don’t speak or act against evil become its accomplices. We cannot afford to wait for governments to bring about real change. I believe in the power of the individual. Each one of us can make the world a better place, even if only one small step at a time. We can create a ripple effect that will expand and eventually turn into a tsunami.

    Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani has been condemned to death in Iran. There are many others who are languishing like her in their grave-like cells, maybe facing painful deaths. They are not alone or forgotten. Even if we don’t know all their names, we are with them. I do not believe in violence, but I do believe in the power of voices coming together as one. Let’s get our voices heard.

    Marina Nemat is the author of “Prisoner of Tehran.” Her second memoir, “After Tehran,” will be released this September.

  7. kruitvat says:

    Hillary Clinton to Iran: stop using death penalty so much
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday expressed concern about the case of a Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery. Only China uses the death penalty more.
    By Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer / August 10, 2010

    Washington – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday added her voice to the growing international chorus condemning what Iranian human rights activists say is expanding use of execution as almost routine punishment in Iran.

    The high-profile case Secretary Clinton cited in a statement is that of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who was handed a sentence of death by stoning after she was found guilty of adultery.

    The Iranian government later announced she would not face death by stoning. But Clinton said that other cases where Iranians face execution for “exercising their right to free expression” after the disputed June 2009 elections, or for homosexuality, suggest that many legal cases in Iran are not proceeding “with the transparency or due process enshrined in Iran’s own constitution.”

    Both President Obama and Clinton were sharply criticized for remaining tight-lipped during the tumultuous days of public protest following Iran’s presidential election in June 2009. Human rights activists accused the Obama administration of overlooking widely broadcast evidence of rights abuses so as not to jeopardize Obama’s policy of seeking dialogue with the government in Tehran over its nuclear program.

    In the president’s defense, administration officials said Obama and other policymakers were concerned that any expression of support for the election protesters could be used by the government against them.

    The administration has recently insisted that the offer of dialogue is still open to Tehran, but apparently the lengthening string of showcased executions and imminent executions prompted Clinton to break the administration’s silence.

    “The United States urges the Iranian government to halt these executions in accordance with its obligations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners an imprisoned human rights defenders,” Clinton said.

    Last month the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, which monitors the Iranian media for death-penalty cases, reported that 135 executions were known to have been carried in Iran so far this year. The foundation listed 399 known executions in Iran in 2009, second in the world behind China (and well ahead of the US, often singled out among Western countries for the use of capital punishment, which carried out 52 last year).

    Last month seven Iranians were executed on charges of drug trafficking, although rights advocates say such charges are often leveld against citizens the government is seeking to silence for other reasons.

    In addition to Ms. Ashtiani, who has been in prison in Tabriz in northwestern Iran since 2005, Clinton singled out the cases of Jafa Kazemi, Mohammad Haj Aghaei, and Javad Lari, whom she said face “imminent execution” for protesting the 2009 election.

    Related stories

    Iran executes 13 Sunni rebels
    Iran opposition rallies on complaints of torture, deaths in detention

    Senator Clinton of New York was the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds.
    (Joshua Frank – January 3, 2006 – ‘Hillary Clinton, AIPAC and Iran’ –

  8. kruitvat says:

    – August 12, 2010
    Hillary Clinton to Iran: stop using death penalty so much
    – Today
    *Radio Free Europe Lawyers Say Stoning Defendant ‘Tortured’ To Confess On TV 1 hr ago
    *Washington Post Iran claims woman facing death has confessed 2 hrs ago
    *Telegraph Iran stoning woman ‘confesses to murder’ on state TV 2 hrs ago
    *Financial Times* Iran televises confession of ‘adulterous’ woman 2 hrs ago
    *AFP via Yahoo! Iran stoning woman ‘admits murder conspiracy’ 5 hrs ago

    Senator Clinton of New York was the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds.

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