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July 14 2010

Stonings Continue in Iran

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

Although Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s execution was stayed last week, it’s not time to celebrate yet. The International Committee Against Executions brings word that yesterday, two more women were condemned to death by stoning. From their release:

Azar Bagheri, 19 years old, in Tabriz prison: Azar was 15 years old when she was arrested and sentenced to death by stoning for having an extramarital affair. She has lived the past four years with the nightmare of knowing she will be stoned. During these four years, Azar Bagheri was twice taken for a mock stoning: the prison authorities twice buried this young girl in the soil up to her chest and told her that if she does not cooperate with them, this is what was going to happen to her. Azar was forced into an unwanted marriage at the age of 14, and her husband lodged a complaint against her, saying that she did not love him and had a relationship with another man.

Maryam Ghorbanzadeh, 25 years old, in Tabriz prison: Maryam is also sentenced to death by stoning. Maryam has been in jail for four years. During a short prison leave that she was granted, she got pregnant, and the Islamic Republic sentenced her to death by stoning. Usually they wait for pregnant women to have their babies before they stone them.

I wrote a few days ago about how stoning disproportionately affects women, a point that bears repeating. Please look into the work that the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty, Stop Stoning Forever, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have done to see how you can voice your opposition to this barbaric punishment – and contact the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues to encourage them to condemn this new round of sentencing.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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