Children of Iranian woman facing 'death by stone' challenges verdict

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London, July 3 (ANI): Children of a 43-year-old Iranian woman, facing death by stoning, have launched an international campaign challenging the Iranian barbaric conviction 'stone to death' for allegedly having 'illicit relationship outside marriage', calling it 'bogus conviction'.

According to The Guardian, Mina Ahadi, a human rights activist in Germany helped Sakineh's children to launch their campaign internationally.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani already endured a sentence of 99 lashes, but her case was re-opened when a court in Tabriz suspected her of murdering her husband. She was acquitted, but the adultery charge was reviewed and a death penalty handed down on the basis of 'judge's knowledge', a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present.

Her 22-year-old son Sajad, and 17-year-old daughter Farideh, said that their mother has been unjustly accused and already punished for something she did not do.

"She's innocent, she's been there for five years for doing nothing", imagining her, bound inside a deep hole in the ground, stoned to death, has been a nightmare for me and my sister for all these years," the paper quoted Sajad, as saying.

"They lashed her five years back just in front my eyes, this has been carved in my mind since then," he added.

Ahadi has said that after the campaign was launched last week, she received phone calls from the families of two other women kept in Tabriz prison, where Sakineh is, revealing that they are also convicted with the same charges.

"Stoning to death is not simply just a judicial punishment, it's a political means in the hands of the Iranian regime to threaten people. It has more function than just a simple punishment for them," she said.

Mohammed Mostafaei, an acclaimed Iranian lawyer voluntarily took up her case when the conviction was announced few months back. He wrote a public letter about her conviction shortly after calling it 'illegal'.

"According to the law, death sentence and especially stoning needs explicit evidences and witnesses while in her case, surprisingly, the judge's knowledge was considered as enough," he added. (ANI)

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