Monday, June 20, 2011

Stoning of Iranian Women

Soraya Manutchehri, 35, was stoned to death for being an "inconvenient wife".  She refused to grant her husband a divorce even though he made it clear he did not love her or want her. He desperately wanted to marry the 14 year-old daughter of a jailed doctor. She also rejected the Mullah's offer to be his lover in exchange for protection and monetary support for herself and her two daughters. Soraya was stoned on   August 15, 1986. 

The Stoning of Soraya M. is a 2008 American film adapted from French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam's 1990 book La Femme Lapidée. The film is based on the true story as narrated by Zahra, Soraya's Aunt.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Recently, Sakineh Ashtiani, a 42 year-old former kindergarten teacher, gained international attention for a conviction of adultery and accompanying sentence of death by stoning.

This Iranian woman has been imprisoned since 2006 and is under a death sentence. An international campaign to overturn her sentence was started by her children through letter published by Mission Free Iran. Their continued campaign fueled world wide protests on July 2010 in Rome, London and Washington D.C. Calls to stop her execution came from leading human rights group and high-profile celebrities and heads of state.

On July 31, 2010, Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, proposed to Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to send Mrs. Ashtiani to Brazil where she would be granted asylum. This proposal was summarily dismissed with the suggestion that Lula had "not received enough information about the case". Hillary Clinton, on August 10, 2010, urged Iran to respect the fundamental freedoms of its citizens referring to Sakineh Ashetiani's case.

Iranian authorities recently, January 2011, said it is possible that the original sentence to be stoned could be dropped but offered no comment on whether she could be hanged. Her life hangs in the balance as she waits in an Iranian jail.

These are among the few stories that make it out into the mainstream media. There are many women who continue to suffer the fate of Soraya and Sakineh. A woman in the city of Arak who was stoned on August 10, 1994. According to the ruling of the mullah, her husband and two children were forced to attend the execution. In the city of Qom, a woman who was being stoned, on October 1989, managed to pull herself out of the hole, only to be forced back into it and stoned to death.

The stoning of women is one of the more untamed, uncivilized and revealed aspects of the mullah's rule in Iran. It is unfortunately carried out under the name of Islam.
These women need a voice. We need to speak out on their behalf.

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