Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Iran Will Hang Woman Instead Of Stoning Her

The New York Post reports that Iran has a heart: 'Stoning woman' to be hanged instead:
The Iranian woman who became the center of an international outcry after being sentenced to death by stoning for adultery is to be hanged for murdering her husband, local media reported Tuesday.

The new fate planned for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was announced by Iran’s national prosecutor general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, at a news conference in Tehran Monday.

“According to the court’s ruling, she is convicted of murder and her death sentence has priority over her punishment [for committing adultery]”, the Tehran Times reported, citing Mohseni-Ejei.

The newspaper said that the prosecutor’s remarks mean Ashtiani -- an illiterate 43-year-old Azeri mother of two whose husband was killed by her cousin -- will not be stoned to death for committing adultery because she should first be executed for murder.
As we'll see below, the murder sentence itself is a bit fishy.

Oddly enough, Ahmadinejad--who found so much to talk about during his stay in the US--not only had little to say about the case, he also denied there had been a decision:
In contradiction to his country’s judicial officials, Ahmadinejad denied that Ashtiani had ever been sentenced to death by stoning and suggested that the international outcry had been whipped up by Western media propaganda.

“There’s no stoning case here at all,” he told Larry King Live. “A person in Germany made this claim, which was untrue. Our judiciary also said it was untrue.”
Sure. This from the guy who once claimed while speaking at Columbia University that there are no gays in Iran.

Apparently, Ashtiani actually was found innocent of the murder charge, but in order to sidestep world outrage, the court has turned around and found her guilty so as to use the less offensive method of execution:
Sajad Ghaderzade, 22, a bus driver from Tabriz, said that his mother had been acquitted of murdering her husband but sentenced to be stoned to death after being convicted, instead, of adultery.

Monday’s statement by the prosecutor general suggested that the courts have overturned their earlier judgment.
But this is all in a days work for the regime that was elected back in April to the UN commission Iran was made to serve on:
The United Nations has elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on what is supposed to be an influential human-rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women deemed to be “immodest.”

...According to its website, The UN Commission on the Status of Women is “dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women”.

You really should check out that link--it gives extensive background on Stoning Women to Death in Iran and Afghanistan

This all brings us back to one the questions Karim Sadjadpour addressed to Ahmadinejad in the Wall Street Journal:
According to human-rights organizations including Amnesty International, executions have increased four-fold since you became president in 2005, and Iran now executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Iran also lifted its moratorium on stoning since you became president. And according to Reporters Without Borders, Iran is now the world's "biggest prison for journalists." Do you take pride in your record?
From what we've seen of Ahmadinejad, it looks like the answer to that would be 'yes'.

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