Iran: Condemned women’s family/lawyer refused prison visitation

Updated with *quotes from CNN

August 28, 2010

Ashtiani posts

The situation is worsening for Ms Ashtiani (right) even as the world protests her inhumane treatment and impending execution.

The UK Guardian (thank you) is reporting that Ms Ashtiani’s children were refused visitation at the prison. Why? Because they were told their mother does not want to see them. And yet later they allowed her to call them.

Son, Sajad:

[The officials] have become obstinate – they are seeking just different ways to mistreat my mother and us as her children.

*What the guards told him:

They told me, ‘Your mother doesn’t want to see you,’ and they wouldn’t let me in.

*What his mother said on the phone:

The guards had told her, ‘Your children didn’t visit you today, they want nothing to do with you.’

*His phones are tapped:

This is the first time I was turned away. I don’t know why they are acting this way. Our home phone number is tapped and being monitored. My cell phone is being monitored. They have control over everything. I don’t know what they are thinking.

And Ms Ashtiani’s local “government-appointed” lawyer, Houtan Kian lawyer had not been allowed to see his client since Ms Ashtiani’s forced propaganda appearance on TV to denounce her previous lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, who is safely asylumed in Norway. They also forced her to implicate herself in her husband’s death – a crime Muslim men actually acquitted her of. Think about that.

And Iran is harassing Mr Kian like they did Mostafaei before him. Evidently Kian’s home in Tabriz was “ransacked by government officials who confiscated documents and laptops after breaking down the front door”.

KIAN: Now it’s my turn, but I am not going anywhere. I’m here to defend her ’til the end even if they put me in jail. The government appointed me to represent Sakineh but now they are angry because they see that even I admit that she’s completely innocent.

*As for the break-in:

They took all my computers, and files for my cases. They literally knocked my front door down! I can’t believe this.

Because I am her lawyer, and working for her release and trying to prove that she is innocent, for this reason they are not letting me visit her.

*Worried about his family:

I am scared for my safety, 100 percent. There are no guarantees from the authorities. I am scared for my family and very worried. But I don’t want to leave [Iran] at all. I have been working on this case for years. I will work until I prove they are innocent… for all my clients.

He points out that Ms Ashtiani was accused of adultery without her alleged love interest even being named and convicted on the judge’s “knowledge”. No witnesses or evidence was presented at Ms Ashtaini’s trial which was conducted in Farsi which is not her native language.

KIAN: She’s been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery but no one else is named in the sentence for her adultery charges, so who has she had sex with? No one is named in the sentence. She’s been convicted of adultery because the judge thought she had extramarital sex, but with whom?

Sakineh’s case has become a battle between Iran and the media and the people around the world. They’re killing time in the hope that people would forget Sakineh.

What is clear is that the officials don’t want to step back because they see it as a sign of defeat for the regime if they do so.

And the US media drones on and on about the 9-11 mosque and Glenn Beck rally.

CNN’s top 2 headlines right now.

These are other children Ms Ashtiani was taken away from. She is pictured shrouded at right in this 2004. They are children at a nursery in Osko, Iran, where she worked for almost two years. This photo marked her daughter, Saideh’s (to her immediate right) first day of school.  Saideh is now 17, Sajjad 22.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in 2004

(Family handout for the Guardian)

And what has happened to them in the meantime? How many have been killed, abused, sold as a child “bride”? The world will never know.

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