With the end of Ramadan this week, the lawyer of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtian confirmed that the mother of two could be executed "at any moment." Her death sentence was handed down to her because she was convicted in 2006 of having an "illicit relationship" with two men after the murder of her husband the year before and was sentenced at that time to 99 lashes (this later conviction was discovered by a British newspaper). Later that year, she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, even though she retracted a confession that she says was made under duress.
"The Possibility of Stoning Exists at Any Moment"
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the possibility of her stoning still exists at any moment and the sentence has only been delayed, not lifted. However, after putting the stoning sentence on hold, Iran officials announced that the woman had also been convicted of playing a role in her husband's 2005 murder. In another twist to the story, the lawyer for Ashtian claimed that his client was lashed on Thursday citing information gathered from a fellow prisoner.
Not Helping the Perceptions of Muslims in America
The Iranian handling of this woman's case does nothing to help soothe American tensions about the current "Muslim Threat" (think "Red Menace," "Yellow Peril," "Homosexual Agenda," etc.). Who stones people anymore? When does it happen and who participates in said stoning?
In a culture like Iran, where they may well be the exception to the rule with regards to Islam and it's fundamental/radical thinking, cases such as this one are highlighted in a media salivating for any story to help fuel the flames of religion tensions. Why? Because that sells newspapers, web hits, advertising, and eventual dividends for shareholders.
Regardless of the money trail associated with this story, it's a horrible injustice as to what's happening to this woman. We can only assume she is being raped and treated terribly while in captivity.