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Feminist News


August-16-06

Iran Stops Stoning Sentence for Ashraf Kolhari

After receiving a petition with signatures from over 100 Iranian women's rights activists and 4,000 concerned individuals, Iran Ayatollah Shahroudi has acted to stop the execution of Ashraf Kolhari, a mother of four who was sentenced to death by stoning for having sex outside of marriage. Kolharis sentence was protested by human rights and womens rights organizations across the world, objecting to the cruel and unusual punishment to which she was condemned for having an affair. In response to Kolharis situation, over 5,300 Feminist Majority Foundation activists sent emails to Ayatollah Shahroudi and the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner to protest Kolharis execution and the practice of stoning.

In an open letter, Kolharis lawyer Shadi Sadr wrote, It is a wonderful feeling to see people coming together to save the life of another human being. I should also say that it is a great pleasure for me, as her lawyer, to share my happiness with all of you who were with us and supported the effort to save her.

Kolharis fate, however, is not completely clear yet, and the cruel practice of stoning in Iran is still legal. While the Ayatollahs announcement is good news for women and human rights in Iran, Sadr adds that feminists and activists must remain vigilant: I am asking you to please continue your efforts and keep your voices loud until we make sure that [Kolhari] is safe. Furthermore, we must demand a change in the law that makes stoning illegal as a sentence for any crime.

TAKE ACTION Urge Ayatollah Shahroudi and the United Nations to end the practice of stoning.

Media Resources: Shadi Sadr letter 8/14/2006