PR 62
Sep 5, 2010

On Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s flogging for the second time

The news of Sakineh Ashtiani’s recent lashing sentence as punishment for spreading corruption and prostitution” because an unveiled photo of her – which turned out to be of another individual – was published in the London Times on August 28, 2010, stirred media attention and invoked international outrage against this barbaric act by the Islamic Republic. However, the person who leaked the alleged photo of Sakineh to The Times is “strongly” denying the new flogging sentencing for Sakineh, on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judicial system. We, of course, strongly wish to believe that Sakineh’s new sentence is not true, but the evidence provided indicates otherwise. So the following details should be noted:

1) The accuracy of this new sentence has been confirmed by both Sakineh’s’ son, Sajjad, and her attorney Mr. Houtan Kian during their interviews with various media outlets.
2) As we reported before, the Islamic Republic has prohibited any visits to Sakineh for the past two weeks. Her children and her attorney have not been allowed to see her or talk to her over the phone. This in itself could be an indication that the barbaric regime in Iran wanted to cover up the flogging of Sakineh based on a false allegation.
3) It was precisely because Sakineh was denied any visits or contacts that her children and Mr. Kian had to find out about the flogging sentence through two of Sakineh’s former cellmates, who were released recently. The news has also later been confirmed by other sources, such as the prison workers.
4) One of the reasons Sakineh’s former attorney has mentioned for denying that this sentence has been issued is that there is no legal basis within the Islamic Republic’s judicial system for this punishment. First of all, let’s not forget that lawlessness rules in the Islamic Republic’s judicial system where the rule of law is based on terror, cruelty and crimes against humanity, especially against women. Secondly, based on the information we have received, Sakineh Mohammadi was sentenced to a second round of 99 lashes based on the Prison’s interior disciplinary regulations and this sentencing was not part of her ongoing and current case, a practice that regularly happens in prisons.

Finally, we would like to point out that Sakineh is still being imprisoned by the Islamic Republic, that her stoning sentence formally stands, that her execution sentence has been passed to the ‘Implementation Department’, that it was only on Saturday, August 28th, that she was subjected to a sick hoax by being told to prepare for execution the next day, and that it has been almost two weeks that we have not had any news about her. It is under these circumstances that we received the news about the second round of flogging, 99 lashes, from her current attorney and her children. We should not allow the statements of those who unfortunately try to appear in the role of prosecutors for and supporters of the Islamic Republic to undermine the worldwide human campaign to save Sakineh and others like her caught in the prisons of the Islamic Republic.

International Committee Against Stoning
International Committee Against Execution

(Translated from Farsi by Kathy Montazem)

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