Amnesty criticises TV ‘confession’ of Iran stoning case woman

There are unconfirmed reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been tortured

Amnesty International criticized the TV “confession” of an Iranian woman on Wednesday night in which Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, awaiting execution by stoning for adultery, appears to implicate herself in the murder of her husband.

The interview was broadcast on Wednesday 11th August, on the ’20:30′ program by Seda va Sima, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

Televised “confessions” have repeatedly been used by the authorities to incriminate individuals in custody. Many have later retracted these “confessions”, stating that they were coerced to make them, sometimes under torture or other ill-treatment.

“This so-called confession forms part of growing catalogue of other forced confessions and self-incriminating statements made by many detainees in the past year.” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

“Statements made in such televised exchanges should have no bearing on Iran’s legal system, or the call to review her case. This latest video shows nothing more than the lack of evidence against Sakineh Ashtiani”, said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

Amnesty International understands that last week, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s lawyer, Javid Houtan Kiyan, submitted a 35-page request for a judicial review of her case, a response is expected on or around 15 August.

“It appears that Iran’s authorities have orchestrated this “confession”, following the call for a judicial review and now appear to be inventing new charges of murdering her husband,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director at Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.

Unconfirmed reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has recently been tortured or ill-treated while in Tabriz Central Prison underscores Amnesty International’s concern.

“Having Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani broadcast in this manner calls into question the independence of the judiciary, at least vis-a-vis the state broadcaster, and its ability to adhere to Iran’s own laws. If the judiciary in Iran is to be taken seriously, this “confession” needs to be disregarded and assurances given that it will not affect the review of her case” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/tv-%E2%80%98confession%E2%80%99-iran-stoning-case-woman-criticized-2010-08-12

Sign the petition to save Sakineh’s life at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_sakinehs_life/?cl=695612891&v=6931

See also:

Ashtiani outrage spurs Iran to commute stoning sentences to hanging
Tehran carries out series of judicial reviews but lawyer fears women who have not attracted media attention will be executed

and:

Iranian Woman given 15 years in prison for ‘crimes against God’

Last year, an Iranian woman called Farah Vazehan went on some of the demonstrations that took place against the regime, in summer 2009. After one of the demonstrations, her house was raided and she was arrested and sent to prison. On August 5th 2010, a revolutionary court heard her case and someone called Judge Salavati sentenced her to 15 years in Evin Prison (which is notorious for torturing its inmates)for: (i) attending a public demonstration and (ii) carrying out crimes against God.

Farah has a 19 year old daughter who has cancer and is receiving chemotherapy at the moment.

Please sign the petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/far-19_2010

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