James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Getting stoned in Iran …

with 2 comments

The Stoning of Soraya M

The Stoning of Soraya M.

… is not the same as getting stoned in America.  In fact, it is nearly the opposite.

On Tuesday, major news outlets around the world were alerting people to the threat facing Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtianin.  She has already been punished with 99 lashes for the simple crime of adultery.  Now, she may face death by stoning  for the same crime.

If you have difficulty imagining the horrific brutality and wanton cruelty of such a punishment, watch The Stoning of Soraya M. It is a difficult movie to watch, but its story is compelling.  Although the intrigue of the movie is probably not matched in this case, the basic facts are similar.  A woman – a mother – is accused and found guilty of adultery and is sentenced to death by stoning.  The method requires the woman to be buried from the waist down before she is pelted by rocks – any one of which is non-lethal.

If you want to learn about the current case, there is much in the news.  CNN has an excellent feature article on it.  Here is an excerpt:

[T]he panel re-examined Ashtiani’s adultery sentence, and based on unspecified “judges’ knowledge,” decided she should be put to death for the alleged affair.


“Legally, it’s all over, and we have no chance. It’s a done deal. Sakine can be stoned at any minute. But we have experienced again and again that when we organize events world-wide, when we protest world-wide, and in particular when we contact European governments and these governments put pressure on the Islamic regime in Iran, sometimes we have a chance.”

via Son pleads for help as mother awaits stoning in Iran – CNN.com.

Read more in the news at this link.


Written by JamesEJ

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 12:01 am

Posted in human rights

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for bringing attention to this unfortunate case. One of the few positives in all this is that the global media is paying attention which can only be helpful in stopping one of the most brutal methods of capital punishment on the planet. Often, the Iranian regime succumbs to international human rights pressure from prominent states and NGO’s so as to preserve the late Khomeini’s “family values” (and in their view pro-human rights) based exportation of Shia idealism to the region. Here’s hoping this is another such example of the regime caving in to mounting foreign pressure on a non-dissident human rights case.


    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

  2. Yashar, I think you are right that something can be done here. When I saw Soraya M. and looked at this in the past, it seemed as if stoning was extremely rare in Iran (compared to, say, Taliban-ruled Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia). Given the lack of a broader desire to impose stoning as a punishment, I am optimistic it can be averted here.

    As for the hangings of dissidents … no such optimism there …


    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 12:31 am

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