Saturday, September 04, 2010

Iran Refuses Brazil's Offer Of Asylum For Woman Sentenced To Death By Stoning

 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian widow and mother of two, was scheduled to be stoned to death for allegedly committing adultery, an unproven allegation that she vehemently denies. After a global campaign to stop her execution, Iranian officials begrudgingly did, but who knows for how long. There are those who think she might eventually be hanged, given the Iranian government's penchant for blood. But whether she's stoned or hanged is irrelevant. Yes, adultery is considered morally wrong by most religions, but  does it warrant a death sentence? Only in the barbaric realm of Shariah law, where even a widow or a single person is considered to have committed adultery if they have sexual relations outside of marriage.  Even if she was guilty of committing adultery, that is an issue between Sakineh and her God, not for any 'man' to judge.  Apparently, she was coerced into confessing after being brutally flogged, but she swears she is not guilty.

The whole world has rallied to save this woman, but I'm sure it's only made the rogue leaders of Iran  dig  their heels in even harder. Brazil very kindly stepped up to the plate and has offered asylum to Sakineh, a great opportunity for the Iranians to show their mercy, but they refused the offer, just proving how cruel and inhumane they are.

Despite international pressure, Iran said Tuesday that it rejects Brazil's offer of asylum for an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva proposed Saturday to give sanctuary to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose case has garnered global attention.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Lula lacked sufficient information about the case, the state news agency Agencia Brasil said.

Iranian human rights activists, along with other human rights organizations across the globe, have been tirelessly campaigning for her release, but nothing seems to have helped other than postponing the inevitable death of an innocent woman.

Meanwhile, a human rights activist who has taken up Ashtiani's case penned a letter to Lula, saying that his offer was an "important step" in saving Ashtiani from undue punishment.

Mina Ahadi of the International Committee against Stoning said the campaign to save Ashtiani's life will continue. She said she hopes Brazil and other governments will keep up pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, which she said rules through fear and punishment and should not be recognized by the international community.

"Allow me, as a representative of the oppressed people in Iran, to say that I not only want to save Sakineh and abolish stoning, but that I also ask all heads of state not to recognise the Islamic regime as the representative of the Iranian people but to see it as the murderer of people in Iran," Ahadi wrote in her letter to Lula.

And even though Brazil and Iran have one of the few existing semi-cordial relationships in the global sphere, refusing Lula's offer is a slap in the face of those improved relations.

What harm could there have been in shipping Sakineh and her children off to Brazil? It might have made the Iranian government look a tad better, but they don't really care what others think. So they'll continue to persecute and execute innocent people, because they can.

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