According to a recent Tweet I saw from a guy who researches Iran for Amnesty, Drewery Dyke, the London Embassy announced that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani will NOT be executed by stoning. This is just an initial report–not sure where the source of the information is from nor if Ashtiani will be killed by some other means.
The Tweet Read: “Iranian embassy in London has announced that Sakineh will not be executed by stoning. More questions raised; more to follow on this.”
Another Tweet by Hala Gorani, an anchor for CNN International, also said she might not be stoned:
“Various reports suggest stoning death sentence of Sakineh Ashtiani has been suspended in #Iran. Unclear if death sentence still holds.”
The British Foreign Secretary today denounced the stoning of the Iranian mother who sits in an Iranian prison waiting her fate. I wrote a story for RFE and on my blog detailing the issue, which has caused severe backlash from the international community.
“I’m appalled by reports of this imminent execution. I think stoning is a medieval punishment that has no place in the modern world, and the continued use of such a punishment in Iran demonstrates, in our view, a blatant disregard for human rights and commitments which [Iran] has previously entered into,” he said. He called for Iran to put an immediate stop to this style of execution, saying if the execution were to be carried out, it would “disgust and appall the watching world.”
U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said in a briefing in Washington, D.C. today that the U.S. calls upon Iranian authorities to live up to their due process commitments under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. As for the stoning, he said, “Stoning as a means of execution is tantamount to torture. It’s barbaric and an abhorrent act.”
According to a recent Washington Post story (citing The Times of London) on the issue, celebrities have taken up the cause as well. Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Robert Redford have signed the campaign to push for her release. It also quoted Senator John Kerry and Howard Berman, the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, as expressing their disgust at the sentence.
More to come as the story develops.