July 31, 2010
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, speaking at a campaign event, offered asylum to the wrongfully convicted, wrongfully punished and wrongfully imprisoned Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (pix).
I call on the supreme leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to permit Brazil to grant asylum to this woman. If my friendship with the president of Iran is worth anything and if she is causing unease there, we will willingly receive her here.
A change of tune for the unpredictable Lula. Last week, in response to an online appeal to free Ms Ashtiani, he said he “could not ask other leaders to disregard their own countries’ laws.”
Lula also said he would call Ahmadinejad. Problem being Ahmadinejad has no say – it’s up to the other “supreme leader” of Iran and his hairy sidekick. But a direct appeal from another president will force Ahmadinejad to respond in some fashion. Imagine our own Dear Leader doing such a thing.
On Brazilian offer of asylum to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Brazilian President Lula da Silva has called on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to accept an offer of asylum in Brazil for Iran stoning case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her children.
The International Committee against Executions and the International Committee against Stoning welcome any new developments that can save her precious life and reunite her with her children. We reiterate our call, however, for an end to stoning and executions altogether.
CNN is reporting that Ashtiani’s son Sajjad was told he would hear his mother’s fate on Thursday.
CNN also mentioned a letter posted on the internet presumed to be from Ashtiani’s lawyer Mohammed Mostafaei calling for the release of his wife and brother-in-law who are being held hostage in his stead. Will see what I can find.
*Yahoo link to Lula’s words doesn’t work anymore for some reason. Here’s the BBC report that contains a slightly different translation. Same meaning – different words.