Authorities in Iran have announced that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old Iranian mother of two, convicted for adultery will not be stoned to death. However, it continues to be uncertain if they have lifted the death sentence against her.
In May 2006, a criminal court in East Azerbaijan province found Ms Ashtiani guilty of having had an “illicit relationship” with two men following the death of her husband. She was subsequently given 99 lashes as punishment. Later that year, another court opened an adultery case that reportedly took place prior to her husband’s death. Ms. Ashanti was found guilty, despite retracting a confession in which she says that she had been forced to make under duress. Her attorney claims that a language barrier may be to blame for Ashtiani not fully comprehending the court proceedings.
In the face of an international campaign against stoning, Iran continues to use this punishment, citing strict interpretation of Islamic law regarding adultery. The condemned are wrapped head to foot in white shrouds and buried…men to their waist, women to their neck. ”Then the stoning begins. The stones are specifically chosen so they are large enough to cause pain, but not so large as to kill the condemned immediately. They are guaranteed a slow, torturous death. Sometimes their children are forced to watch.” According to a 2008 report released by the human rights group Amnesty International, the majority of those sentenced to death by stoning are women, who suffer disproportionately from such punishment.
MOMism: “Life is not always fair.” O-MAMAs, here is yet another reminder of how fortunate that we, and our daughters, are to live in a country like the United States. There wouldn’t be an “Opinionated MAMA” in many parts of the world, as the opinions of women are neither appreciated nor tolerated. Not to mention, the rights and protections that we are guaranteed under the Constitution ensure that this type of “medieval” punishment could never happen in our country. Adultery would definitely test a mama’s moral code, and personal reputation, however, fear of lashing or death by stoning seems absurd to the Western woman. How can we support other MAMAs throughout the world?
This is abhorrent!!! Women all over the world are still treated like property and this has got to stop. Women who have rights need to fight for those who don't. Let's ban together and make countries who treat women like second class citizen know that they will not prosper until they do right by women.
Thank God they decided not to stone her to death. We are lucky to live where we have the rights and freedom we enjoy. It is not only the brave men and women that serve our country and fight to preserve those freedoms, but the elected representatives and senators and the president and his cabinet. We need to make sure, to the best of our ability, put the right people in office. We can lose a lot of freedoms with the swipe of a pen.
Difficult to digest this level of violence directed disproportionately towards women. However, it's so important to consider long-standing cultural norms and values when judging instances such as this. A cursory look from a Western- dominated perspective will not help us truly understand, and have the ability and tools to change the underlying issues that lead to this type of treatment of women in other places of the world. There is no doubt that we need to work perilously to end this practice, but also provide a new generation with the education that can indeed slowly change the cultural norms that make this type of treatment of women acceptable.