Eight Other Pending Executions in Iran

News of the imminent stoning of one Iranian woman for alleged adultery galvanized a global movement to save her. But sadly, her case was not an anomaly. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been imprisoned in Tabriz Prison in northwestern Iran since 2005, having suffered 99 lashes and been condemned to die by public stoning for her alleged adultery. Until last month, those facts were known only to a small handful of people working quietly through the Iranian legal system to secure her release. Now, with Ashtiani’s story filling the pages of newspapers and Web sites around the world, her name, and the appalling details of her case, are familiar. Judges relied on “wisdom” rather than evidence to determine her guilt, using a loophole in the Iranian legal system. But even by Iranian legal standards, the case was fraught. Ashtiani had no lawyer until late in the appeal proceedings, despite being illiterate and unable to speak Farsi, the language used in court, according to the International Committee Against Execution (ICAE). She retracted a confession she says was made under duress. Nonetheless, court after court signed off on her death warrant, until all legal avenues had been exhausted.

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