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Iran. Islamic regime’s Supreme Court maintains Sakineh Ashtiani’s execution sentence

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For 21 months now we have been mobilising international support and solidarity with the people in Iran in their struggle against the Islamic regime. Our work more important than ever given that the protests in Iran are continuing and so is the brutal repression, including a massive wave of executions – at least 86 since the start of this year alone.

And just now, we have heard that the Islamic regime’s Supreme Court has upheld Sakineh Ashtiani’s execution sentence. Upon hearing the news, a desperate Sakineh attempted suicide but survived. We have also received reports that her lawyer, Houtan Kian, who was arrested during an interview with her son and two German journalists some months ago, has been sentenced to death (though the two journalists have returned home).

The killing is going to continue – unless we stop it. And we can. International attention and solidarity works. We need everyone on board to stop this tsunami of executions. Please see below our letter demanding an immediate end to executions in Iran, which has already been signed by Campaigner Mina Ahadi, Scientist Richard Dawkins, Nobel Laureate Harold Kroto, and Author Salman Rushdie. Please add your name to it too.

Our work inside and outside of Iran must continue. We are co-sponsoring a conference to mark International Women’s Day in London and are inviting you to come and join us on Saturday 12 March to highlight the impact of religion on women’s rights, secularism and the law and the need for solidarity with people struggling against it. You can find out more about it below.

As the new Spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, I’d like to ask you to keep the pressure on. Join us to create a storm of solidarity that cannot be ignored. We can and must stop the executions now.

To add your name to the letter below, go to: or email us at

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the execution capital of the world. Already in 2011, it has executed at least 86 people after unfair trials and forced confessions under torture - three times last year's rate. It is the worst rise in executions since the regime's massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988.

There has been one execution every 8 hours and at least 8 of those executed have been political prisoners. Some of those killed by the state include: Zahra Bahrami, 45 year old Dutch/Iranian national who was arrested during protests last year, Ali Ghorabat for apostasy and Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie for enmity against god. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani still faces execution.

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate end to this state-sponsored murder that aims to intimidate the protest movement in Iran and call on the United Nations and governments to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran for an immediate and unconditional halt to executions. A regime that slaughters its citizens must face diplomatic isolation.

Signed by: Shahla Abghari, University Professor, Human Rights and Women Rights Activist, USA; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President & Co Founder of Stop Child Executions, Canada; Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson, International Committee against Stoning & Execution, Germany; Sayeed Ahmad, Coordinator, Ain o Salish Kendra, Bangladesh; Association Fenomena Kraljevo, Serbia; Russell Blackford, Writer and Philosopher, Australia; Caroline Brancher, UFAL, France; Helle Merete Brix, Journalist, Denmark; Roy W Brown, International Representative, International Humanist and Ethical Union; Richard Dawkins, Scientist, UK; Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson, Iran Solidarity, UK; Sanal Edamaruku, President, Rationalist International, India; Sonja Eggerickx, President, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Belgium; Caroline Fourest, Writer and Columnist, France; A. C. Grayling, Writer and Philosopher, UK; Rahila Gupta, Activist and Writer, UK; Maria Hagberg, Chairperson, Network Against Honour-Related Violence, Sweden; Trefor Jenkins, Professor Emeritus / Honorary Professorial Research Fellow, South Africa; Hope Knutsson, President, Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, Iceland; Nevena Kostic, Women for Peace, Serbia; Hartmut Krauss, Social Scientist, Germany; Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, USA; Terry Liddle, Freethought History Research Group, UK; Anne-Marie Lizin, Honorary Speaker of the Belgian Senate, Belgium; Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder, Secularism Is A Women's Issue, France; Ed McArthur, Freethought History Research Group, UK; Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law For All Campaign, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, UK; Salman Rushdie, Writer, USA; Daniel Salvatore Schiffer, Philosopher and Writer, Belgium; Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, London, UK; Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Spokesperson of the Giordano Bruno Foundation, Germany; Udo Schuklenk, Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics, Canada; Siba Shakib, Filmmaker and Writer, USA; Joan Smith, Writer and Activist, London, UK; Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director, American Humanist Association, USA; Annie Sugier, President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, France; Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK; Giti Thadani, Writer and Filmmaker, India; Michele Vianes, President, Regards de Femmes, France; Eli Vieira, President, Secular Humanist League of Brazil, Brazil; and Women in Black, Belgrade, Serbia.

Join us at a the International Conference on Women’s Rights, Sharia Law and Secularism, which will be held at the University of London Union, The Venue, Malet Street, London WC1E, on 12 March from 1000-1900 (Registration begins at 10am for a 1030am start). For information and to register go to:

Contact : Patty Debonitas,, Tel: +44 (0) 7507978745

Visit where you will also find contact details of our international branches.

February 26, 2011


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Debonitas, Patty


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