July 8, 2010

NIAC Welcomes Successful International Efforts to Halt Stoning Execution

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council welcomes reports that public pressure from the international community has led to a halting of the stoning execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani. NIAC calls on the Iranian government to end the archaic and heinous practice of execution by stoning and remains gravely concerned that the Iranian government’s human rights abuses continue. NIAC reiterates its call for the Obama Administration to make human rights a top priority in its Iran policy.

“Today’s decision demonstrates why it is so critical for the U.S. and the international community to engage publicly on the issue of human rights in Iran,” said Jamal Abdi, NIAC Policy Director. “Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani has been spared from a cruel and inhumane execution precisely because of international efforts to scrutinize and press Iran on its abuses. This is proof that such efforts can yield results, and its vital that the U.S. and international community redouble these efforts in order to improve Iran’s dire human rights situation.”

NIAC reiterates its call for the U.S. to work with the international community to establish a monitoring mechanism to improve the human rights situation in Iran. NIAC also reiterates its call for Iran to release all political prisoners, suspend all sentences for individuals who have not been provided fair trials, and comply with its international human rights obligations.

Execution by stoning is a violation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which bars torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, and to which Iran is a signatory. Though the Iranian judiciary moved to suspend stoning executions in 2002, the practice has continued intermittently.

It is not clear if Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani still faces execution by other means, however twelve separate women still face execution by stoning. Further executions in violation of Iran’s human rights obligations may also be imminent. Iranian-Kurdish activist Zeinab Jalalian has been sentenced to death for political reasons and her fate remains unclear. Mohamadreza Haddadi faces execution for a crime he confessed to committing when he was fifteen, which he later retracted.




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