Wednesday, July 7, 2010


BRUSSELS (AFP) - The woman, Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, was convicted of adultery in 2006. She confessed to the crime after being subjected to 99 lashes, but retracted her confession later and has since denied wrongdoing. She has asked for clemency from the Iranian courts, but has been rebuffed. Amnesty International yesterday called on the Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution of mother-of-two Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and the hanging of another woman said to be a political activist. Ashtiani was convicted of having an ‘illicit relationship’ with two men in May 2006 and received 99 lashes as her sentence. Despite this, she has also been convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. The 43-year-old has retracted a ‘confession’ she said was made under duress. Appealing for help to the international community, her daughter, Farideh, 16, and son, Sajad, 20, said yesterday: ‘Please help end this nightmare and do not let it turn into a reality. Help us save our mother.’ European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran to stop the execution of this woman and two other people.

Ashton said she was “deeply concerned” about reports that the executions of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who was sentenced to hang for a murder he committed when he was a minor, and the woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, “may be imminent.” She also renewed her call for Iran to drop the death sentence against Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurd who awaits execution for being an “enemy of God.” Ashton called death by stoning “a particularly cruel method of execution which amounts to torture.” Ashton urged Iran to consider a moratorium on executions. Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain public security and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings. Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.

According to Amnesty International, death by stoning takes place with the convicted buried up to the chest, and stones are thrown at the head. The stones are large enough to cause enough pain, but not too large to kill right away. Actually, one can not understand how so wild method of capital punishment can still exist in 2010.

Persons who are attached to sinful activities generally become envious and violent toward other living entities. Committing violence is a heinous sin. It is everyone's duty to give up violence. Violence toward human beings is the gravest sin. ... Violence toward other living entities is the root of all sinful activities. ... There are three kinds of violence: violence toward human beings, violence toward animals, and violence toward demigods. Violence is born from hate. ... There are two types of cruelty, cruelty toward humans and cruelty toward animals. Cruelty toward men and women causes great disturbances in the world. When people practice cruelty toward one another, compassion leaves the world and irreligiousness in the form of cruelty become prominent. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5).

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
‘Violence Toward the Living Entities’
“Śrī Bhaktivinoda Vānī Vaibhava” - Vol 2. “Abhidheya”
Compiled by Śrīpad Sundarānanda Vidyāvinoda.

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