August 6, 2010
Imprisoned and condemned to be executed by yet unknown means, Iranian mother of two Sakineh Ashtiani has gotten a message to the UK Guardian via an “intermediary who cannot be named for security reasons”.
Source: UK GUARDIAN Saeed Kamali Dehghan (thank you)
Ms Ashtiani spoke about Iran’s propaganda, her lawyer, her alleged crimes, why she feels she is being executed, how she has been treated in prison and then she made a request.
Ms Ashtiani was found guilty of adultery in a trial she was unable to understand because of a language barrier. And even if she were guilty – she has already received the punishment = 99 lashes + she has been imprisoned for 5 years.
Re: Iran propaganda that she is being executed because she was involved in the murder of her husband, which she was not. The murderer has been in prison for 5 years, and, according to the Guardian, is not facing execution because Ms Ashtiani’s son pardoned him.
SAKINEH ASHTIANI: They’re lying. They are embarrassed by the international attention on my case and they are desperately trying to distract attention and confuse the media so that they can kill me in secret.
I was found guilty of adultery and was acquitted of murder, but the man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned but he is not sentenced to death.
They may kill Ms Ashtiani and they may do it in secret but the whole world will know what they did and how it was done.
My guess is this interview took place before Ms Ashtiani’s lawyer Mr Mostafaei was released. [He is under European diplomatic protection – his wife is still imprisoned and he said she is being tortured.]
They wanted to get rid of my lawyer so that they can easily accuse me of whatever they want without having him to speak out. If it was not for his attempts, I would have been stoned to death by now.
She does not read/write Farsi – she is of Turk descent.
When the judge handed down my sentence, I even didn’t realize I’m supposed to be stoned to death because I didn’t know what ‘rajam’ means. They asked me to sign my sentence which I did, then I went back to the prison and my cellmates told me that I was going to be stoned to death and I instantly fainted.
Why she is being executed:
The answer is quite simple, it’s because I’m a woman, it’s because they think they can do anything to women in this country.
It’s because for them adultery is worse than murder – but not all kinds of adultery: an adulterous man might not even be imprisoned but an adulterous women is the end of the world for them.
It’s because I’m in a country where its women do not have the right to divorce their husbands and are deprived of their basic rights.
Their words, the way they see me – an adulterous woman who should be stoned to death – is just like being stoned to death every day.
For all these years, they [the officials] have tried to put something in my mind, to convince me that I’m an adulterous woman, an irresponsible mother, a criminal but with the international support, once again I’m finding myself, my innocent self.
Ms Ashtianis’s then 17 year-old son, Sajjad, chose to bear witness to all 99 lashes. This is what she wrote in her last communication:
The day I was flogged in front of Sajjad, I was crushed and my dignity and heart were broken.
Don’t let them stone me in front of my son.