Iranian Adulterer Will Hang ... And This Is a Human Rights Victory?

Cynthia Dermody
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sakineh mohammadi ashtianiThe Iranian woman who maybe cheated on her husband and was sentenced to death will not be stoned after all. She'll be hanged instead. Her sentence was changed after an international awareness campaign was launched to help her cause.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani already sustained 99 lashes -- in front of her teenage son, no less -- for a charge of adultery that she may or may not have even committed. Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced by judges who "believe" she had an affair, but they were unable to collect any forensic evidence to prove it.

The government ordering forensic tests of your body to determine whom you may have slept with. Stoning. Cheating considered a criminal act. This world is unfathomable to any of us in the Western world, but it's just a day in the life for Iranian women. I'm guessing that hanging is supposed to be better than stoning, which is why commuting Mohammadi Ashtiani's sentence to death by hanging is a bit absurd. Everything about this case is unbelievable.

For the stoning death, Mohammadi Ashtiani would have been buried up to her neck, after which her executioners would have thrown rocks at her head that would not have been big enough to kill her right away, so she would suffered and died slowly.

Hanging -- what I know of it -- seems like it would be quicker, although just as brutal and outdated. Iranian officials are also on the lookout for Mohammadi Ashtiani's lawyer, who has gone into hiding. Officials are ransoming his family members to force him to reappear.

Another Iranian woman, Mariam Ghorbanzadeh, 25, who is pregnant and was also accused of adultery, is scheduled to be hanged this week. Human rights activists believe that Iranian authorities are putting pressure on her in prison in the hope that she miscarries. They would then be allowed to execute her.

 

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