Iranian writer given long jail term for story about stoning

Iranian writer given long jail term for story about stoning

Published by on October 9, 2016

golrokh-ebrahimi-iraeeBBC News, Oct. 7, 2016 – A writer and human rights activist has been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in Iran for penning a story about stoning.
Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee faces years behind bars even though her writing has not been published.
She was convicted of ‘insulting Islamic sanctities’ and ‘spreading propaganda against the system’.
Amnesty International called the conviction ‘ludicrous’ and the trial ‘farcical’.
Victims of stoning are executed by having rocks thrown at them until they are dead. In Iran, most are women accused of adultery.
Ms Ebrahimi Iraee’s work describes the emotional reaction of a young woman who watches the film The Stoning of Soraya M – which tells the true story of a young woman stoned to death.
The Iranian authorities found the piece on 6 September 2014, when the writer and her activist husband Arash Sadeghi were arrested by men believed to be members of the Revolutionary Guard.
Ms Ebrahimi Iraee was transferred to Tehran’s Evin Prison and held there for 20 days, without access to her family or a lawyer, Amnesty International says.
She says she was interrogated for hours while blindfolded and facing a wall, and repeatedly told that she could face execution for ‘insulting Islam’.
She says she could clearly hear the interrogators threatening and verbally abusing her husband in the next cell. Mr Sadeghi has since said that he was beaten and tortured while in custody.

‘Punished for her imagination’
Now the activist has been ordered to hand herself over to Tehran’s Evin Prison to begin serving her sentence. Her husband is already serving 15 years in the infamous institution, which has a special wing designated for political prisoners, academics, intellectuals and journalists.
His interrogators allegedly used copies of his Facebook messages and emails to journalists and human rights activists.
Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Director of Research and Advocacy for the Middle East and North Africa, said Ebrahimi Iraee ‘is effectively being punished for using her imagination’.
He said Iran continues to justify the use of stoning in the name of morality.
‘Instead of imprisoning a young woman for peacefully exercising her human rights by expressing her opposition to stoning, the Iranian authorities should focus on abolishing this punishment, which amounts to torture,’ he said.


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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

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