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PR No. 94
November 10, 2010
To Ayatollah Ejehi and other judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic:
You are fabricating a case against Sakineh Ashtiani, and you want to buy time!
Gholam-Hosein Ejehi, Attorney General and spokesman of the Islamic Republic’s Judiciary, said today, in an interview with the Iranian official news agency (IRNA), ‘we need more time and further review of the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in order to come to a clear, definite conviction for her. This case is till going through legal procedures.’ He added, ‘there are two charges, or convictions, against Sakineh, the more serious of the two being the murder charge, or conviction.
In opposition to the above statements, The International Committees Against Execution and Stoning make the following statement:
1- If Sakineh’s case is still under review, why is it that she has already been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, suffered 99 lashes, and spent 5 years of her life in jail? Shouldn’t this sentence be quashed, and Sakineh and her family be compensated?
2- If, as you presently admit, Sakineh’s case needs further review, then on what basis have you already sentenced her to stoning? And, following that, why have you announced, several times and through different channels, that she has been sentenced to death? The truth is had there been an iota of justice in your whole judicial system, you would have publically apologized to Sakineh and her children, and paid a fraction of the physical and emotional harm as well as the material damage that you have caused them during these years.
3- What kind of case needs ‘more time and further review’ after 5 years? How many more years is Sakineh supposed to languish in jail, grappling with the nightmare of being hanged or stoned to death, before your review comes to a ‘clear, definite conviction for her’? Shouldn’t you free Sakineh while she awaits the completion of the review, such as you claim to be doing, especially since she has already spent 5 years in prison and endured 99 lashes for crimes not yet proven according to your own statements above?
4- Why the documents Sakineh’s lawyer, Houtan Kian, had gathered and prepared in her defense were stolen from his house- and office by your agents? You have even removed the copies of her whole dossiers from Tabriz Prison and Police archives! If you are not up to fabricating a case against her, and all you really want to do is review it further, why would you need to steal her dossiers?
5- What sort of reviewing a case requires that the defendant’s lawyer, as well as her child, be arrested, imprisoned and tortured for just defending her? What sort of reviewing a case can possibly have any validity in today’s world when it requires that the defendant be deprived of legal defense?
6- What kind of review are you doing during which you have had to force the defendant into coercively extracted confessions on national television? How many times have you and other statesmen of your regime publically presented her as a convicted murderer through various media? You have even publically denounced the international media as well as Sakineh’s international supporters as ‘defenders of a murderer’ in so many instances!
The statements you and other government officials have so far made on the case of Sakineh are clear testimonies to the fact that your court system does not bear any resemblance whatsoever to a legitimate one. Your courts, therefore, lack any legitimacy to review this or any other case.
Thanks to our efforts you and your whole Islamic legal system have been exposed to the world. You must be put on trial, if not for any other of your crimes during the past 31 years, for what you have done to Sakineh, her children and her lawyer based on your own admissions so far.
You are not busy further reviewing Sakineh’s case but fabricating one for her. You are not awaiting the clarification of the case but just buying time hoping to be relieved from the international pressure. Your shameless contradicting statements, as well as your criminal treatment of prisoners, are by now very well known to the people around the world.
The International Committees Against Execution and Stoning hereby demand that Sakineh, Sajad, Houtan and the two German journalists who were arrested while trying to investigate the case must be freed immediately. There is no justification for their imprisonment. It is, on the other hand, Ejei, Shahroudi and all other past and present judicial authorities of the regime, along with all the its leaders, who must be tried for this as well as thousands of other crimes they have committed. This anti-human judicial system must be thrown into the trash can of history together with the entire Islamic regime. This is a demand backed by millions of people in Iran and across the world.
International Committee Against Stoning (http://stopstonningnow.com)
International Committee Against Execution (http://notonemoreexecution.org)
Spokesperson: Mina Ahadi
Tel: 0049 (0) 1775692413