After news broke out that Sakineh Ashtiani may be executed on Wednesday November 3rd, the world went in urgent alert mode by protesting the news online. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has not yet been executed, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner announced on November 3rd after speaking to Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
In an additional comment, Ramin Mehmanparast, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman accused the West of shamelessly trying to turn Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case into a human rights issue against the nation [Iran].
Apparently, according to Mehmanparast's statement, Ashtiani’s case should not be considered a human rights issue since she committed crime and treason; although it is not entirely clear what he is making reference to that deserves the sentence of stoning or execution- adultery, murder [a charge human rights activists insist she was acquitted of], both, or perhaps a new unknown crime.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of the group Iran Human Rights said, "The allegations by the Iranian authorities regarding Ms. Ashtiani’s murder conviction, and especially their claims about the family of the [victim] demanding retribution, are fabricated by the regime in order to make her execution more acceptable for the world community." He added, "The [victim's] family are Sakineh’s children, and they started the campaign to save their mother’s life, so how could they demand her execution?"
Throughout the ordeal of human rights activists to clarify Ashtiani’s sentence and attempt to save her life, the Iranian regime authorities have retaliated with denying the facts (E.g. the denial of the stoning sentence for Ashtiani by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other regime authorities). Additionally, the illegal statements made against Ashtiani, the mishandling of her file [E.g. extracting false confessions from Ashtiani and denying lawyers from viewing her file and visiting her], and the arrest of two German journalists, her son and lawyer are urgent reasons why her case requires the full attention of human rights lawyers and activists.
Iranian government authorities do not have a universal understanding of human rights or even the laws that exist in the country they govern. Based on the regime’s blatant track record of committing crimes against humanity before and after the 2009 post-election uprising of the Iranian people against the current government and subsequent illegal detentions of innocent Iranian citizens, it is now, like always, using its weapon of media propaganda to psychologically manipulate the citizens of Iran and even people in the West who are always in search of the “other side of the story”. The goal is to make people believe that human rights activists are the “bad guys” who are using Ashtiani to try to divide and break apart the nation of Iran, when in actuality, the only entity threatened by the efforts of human rights activists is the Iranian regime who digs itself deeper every day in human rights offenses.
The Iranian regime’s attempts to inflict unfounded fears in people fortunately usually proves fruitless since it is now known that it is the regime who threatens the world, and it uses Sakineh’s death as one way to do it.
As activists, freedom fighters, and supporters continue to speak out for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's rights, they also wait for the next move by the Iranian regime on one of the most twisted human rights cases in the last year.
Maryam Nayeb Yazdi is the editor in chief of Persian2English.com
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