On Friday 30 July 2010, a press conference was held in London on the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of the International Committee against Executions and International Committee against Stoning read out the latest message from Sakineh:
I’m Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. From Tabriz Prison I thank all those who are thinking of me.
I went to school until the 5th grade. After I was married I had two children, and all my hopes are on them.
I am now quiet and sad because a part of my heart is frozen.
The day I was flogged in front of [my son] Sajjad, I was crushed and my dignity and heart were broken.
The day I was given the stoning sentence, it was as if I fell into a deep hole and I lost consciousness.
Many nights, before sleeping, I think to myself how can anybody be prepared to throw stones at me; to aim at my face and hands? Why?
I thank all of you from Tabriz Prison. Mrs Ahadi, tell everyone that I’m afraid of dying. Help me stay alive and hug my children.
Mina Ahadi also provided new evidence and information on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case as well as other cases sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. The new documentation refuted statements by the Islamic Republic of Iran that they did not intend to stone her to death. Writer AC Grayling spoke of the contradiction between a medieval government and a progressive population wanting to be free whilst human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell stressed the importance of supporting Sakineh and all those languishing on death row. Iran Solidarity Spokesperson Maryam Namazie refuted claims made by the embassy of the Islamic regime of Iran in London and the former French ambassador to Iran that stonings in Iran were rare; she referred to a new report published by the International Committee against Executions which has found that over 100 people have been stoned with 25 known cases currently awaiting death by stoning in Iran.
A statement signed by 47 well-known personalities and organisations calling for an end to the harassment of Sakineh’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafei and calling for the release of his wife and brother-in-law were also released.
The speakers ended their statements by calling for Sakineh’s stoning and execution orders to be rescinded and for her release and for an end to stoning and executions. The press conference, which was chaired by Iran Secular Society Director Fariborz Pooya finished at 12pm after which the panellists were interviewed by all the major media outlets present.
International Committee Against Executions: http://notonemoreexecution.org
International Committee Against Stoning: http://stopstonningnow.com
Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk
For more information contact:
Mina Ahadi, Germany, International Committee Against Stoning and International Committee Against Executions Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0049 1775692413; http://notonemoreexecution.org/, http://stopstonningnow.com
Maryam Namazie, UK, Iran Solidarity Spokesperson, email@example.com, 0044 7719166731, Iran Solidarity: www.iransolidarity.org.uk.