Iranian Woman Sentenced to Stoning for Adultery Claims Discrimination is Rampant in Iran

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman convicted on two counts of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning, has accused Iranian officials of lying about the charges against her.  Authorities have also claimed that she murdered her husband, even though a man is currently in prison for her husband’s murder.  The man is not facing the death penalty because her son pardoned the man.

In a case that brought attention from around the world, Ashtiani, 43, was convicted on two counts of adultery and sentenced to death.  Originally, she was to be stoned to death, though after pressure from around the world, Iranian officials have modified her sentence to death by hanging.  Ashtiani believes that she is facing the death penalty because she is a woman.  She claims men in the country convicted of adultery rarely even face jail time, let alone a death sentence.

Additionally, Ashtiani was even unaware that she was to be stoned.  Upon her conviction, she was asked to sign her sentencing papers, which she did, however she was unaware of what the word ‘rajam’ meant.  Upon returning to her cell, other cellmates informed her that it meant she was to be stoned to death.  She said she fainted upon hearing the news.

After bringing international attention to the case and helping the woman get her sentence changed from stoning to hanging, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei was forced to flee the country after Iranian authorities issued an arrest warrant for him.  Mostafaei’s wife is currently being held in Tehran’s Evin prison without a charge.  Mostafaei was arrested in Istanbul on immigration charges, though he was later released.  He is currently making his way to Denmark.

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