Iranian women's son fears execution after Ramadan
Speaking to news conference organized by Bernard-Henri Levy, Sakineh Ashtiani's son says, 'Ramadan is coming to an end and, according to Islamic law, executions can resume.' French philosopher: This woman faces the most barbaric of executions in the coming days
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's 22-year-old son Sajjad Mohammadi Ashtiani was speaking by telephone to a news conference organized in Paris by the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.
"Ramadan is coming to an end and, according to Islamic law, executions can resume," the young man warned. The Islamic calendar varies a little around the world, but Ramadan is due to come to an end everywhere this week.
Sajjad said he had had no contact with his 43-year-old mother since her August 11 televised "confession", which her lawyers believe was coerced from her by Iranian authorities.
"Weekly visits have been halted. We heard that she had received 99 lashes in prison," the young Iranian said, speaking to Levy and assembled reporters in Persian through a French translator.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to death for adultery and has since also received a 10-year jail term for participating in her husband's murder.
Her case has generated a , with international governments and human rights bodies denouncing stonings as barbaric, and some questioning whether she received a fair trial.
"This woman faces the most barbaric of executions in the coming days," warned Levy, a prominent French intellectual and media star who has gathered a petition of 80,000 names calling for her release.
"We have sworn to remain mobilized for as long as justice has not been done, that's to say for as long as Sakineh has not been pardoned and freed," he added.
'Stoning political act to frighten women'
Sakineh's son expressed confidence that international pressure would help and called for the support of Turkey and Brazil, who have friendly relations with Iran.
Shahnaz Gholami, a female journalist who in 2008 was held for several months in the same prison as Sakineh in the northern city of Tabriz, said she was with Sakineh at the moment she was sentenced.
"Sakineh speaks a Turkish dialect and did not understand her conviction which was spoken in Persian with the word for stoning in Arabic. She signed her conviction without understanding it," said Gholami at the gathering in Paris.
"The director of the prison explained to her that she had been sentenced to be stoned."
Gholami added: "Sakineh is the symbol of all the women who are tortured and assaulted in prison in Iran. I hope international support, as well as obtaining Sakineh's liberation, will open the way to a change in this situation."
Mina Ahadi, head of an international campaign against stoning, said her organization listed 150 stonings of people in Iran over 30 years.
"Stoning is a political act to frighten women in Iran," she said.
Human rights groups claim Iran systematically infringes human rights, but the regime in Tehran claims it is merely enforcing Sharia law.
According to Amnesty International, at least six people were stoned to death in Iran since 2006.
Fifteen others were sentenced to death by stoning, but their sentences were eventually commuted.
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