Iranian Woman's Death Sentence Commuted
Zohre Elahian, a member of Iran's parliament, stated yesterday that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's hanging sentence had been commuted to a 10 year prison sentence. Ashtiani's hanging was scheduled for early November, but as a result of massive international protest, her execution was suspended.
In 2006, Ashtiani was convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to a 10-year prison term. The sentence was later reduced to a five year term for complicity in his murder. Ashtiani was also convicted of having extramarital relations and initially received a sentence of 99 lashes for adultery. However, during an appeal of her case, the court changed the sentence to death by stoning. After worldwide outrage, this sentence was commuted to death by hanging.
Prominent political figures, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, have issued statements expressing concern and dismay over Ashtiani's treatment. The Feminist Majority Foundation and women's groups globally conducted email campaigns to stop the death sentence.
Media Resources: NPR 1/17/11; Amnesty International Statement 12/10/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/10/10, 11/9/10