Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mina Ahadi condemns Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's "confession" and personal attack on Ahadi aired on Iranian state TV

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has appeared a third time on Iranian State TV to give a confession that is believed to be forced from her through torture. Newspaper articles published today give an account of Ashtiani, who is sentenced to death for murder and has been convicted of adultery, attacking Mina Ahadi for bringing her plight to world attention. Detained German journalists also attack Ahadi, who is the director of the International Committee Against Stoning, in the film. In the below statement, Ahadi refutes the claims made on the TV program and reaffirms her commitment to ensuring Ashtiani's release.

The Islamic Republic’s TV Show against Sakineh and the Arrestees of This Case

In tonight’s airing of news program “Eight-thirty,” the Islamic Republic’s “Seda va Sima” aired a clip of the Information Ministry obtaining “confessions” from its prisoners. In this program, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, Sajjad [Ghaderzadeh], Houtan [Kian] and the two German journalists associated with Bild Am Sonntag magazine were forced to testify against themselves.

The two German journalists, Houtan, and Sajjad were arrested on October 10 while they were interviewing in Houtan’s office. Sajjad and Houtan were immediately tortured and to this day have been deprived from visitation and having solicitors. The two German journalists too remain imprisoned on charges of interviewing!

The Islamic Republic’s goal in airing this program is to agitate public opinion against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Mina Ahadi, yet despite all the effort to create this program, the program by itself gives a powerful picture of the international campaign to save Sakineh and a tenacious picture of Mina Ahadi, her humanitarian efforts and exposing the Islamic Republic!

To clarify for the public, it is necessary to say that the two German journalists did not travel to Iran on the request of the International Committee against Execution or Mina Ahadi. These two journalists had travelled to Iran to report and to do interviews.  They contacted Mina Ahadi and asked for her assistance in contacting Sajjad, and once there, asked Mina Ahadi’s help with interpretation.

Taking confessions of the arrestees under pressure and torture is the Islamic Republic’s exposed politic.

In the past five months, under one of the most powerful international campaigns which was initiated by Mina Ahadi and the Committees against Stoning and Execution, the Islamic Republic’s officials have issued a lot of contradictory announcements, and the harder they have tried, the more they have exposed themselves. They prepared the execution of Sakineh on several occasions, but the pressure of this global campaign has forced them to retreat. This recent attempt too will lead to even more indignation.

We strongly condemn the Islamic Republic for forcing prisoners to confess against themselves, and call upon the world’s citizens, organizations and international institutions to condemn the Islamic Republic and demand the immediate release of Sakineh, Sajjad, Houtan and the two German journalists, as well as all those sentenced to stoning, and expand their activities for their rescue.

International Committee against Stoning
International Committee against Execution
Nov 15, 2010

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