Friday, August 15, 2008

Write for Shamameh Ghorbani

Hi folks- This just in from Amnesty International:
" This week I want to tell you about Shamameh Ghorbani, an Iranian woman who’s been sentenced to 100 lashes, after being found guilty of adultery. Shamameh says that she only told the court she was having a relationship with a man found at her house to ensure that her husband and brothers, who stabbed the man to death, were not charged with murder. It was nearly even worse. Shamameh, aged 34, had originally been sentenced to execution by stoning in June 2006. Her brothers and husband had murdered a man they found in her house and nearly killed her too. The men were convicted of 'legitimate' murder and received a sentence of six years in jail. In a letter submitted to the court during her first trial, Shamameh said: "Since I am a rural, illiterate woman and I didn't know the law, I thought that if I confessed to a relationship with the dead man, I could clear my brothers and husband of intentional murder. I said these untrue words in court and then understood I had done myself an injury." The fact that Shamameh is a woman will have undoubtedly worked against her. Iranian women do not get equal treatment under the law and higher illiteracy rates among women mean they are more likely to sign confessions they don’t understand. Now she is facing a brutal punishment. Amnesty is calling on Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Head of the Iranian Judiciary, to commute the sentence of flogging. When the authorities suspended the use of stoning on 5 August, it was a real step forward for Iran. This came after a concerted campaign from brave human rights defenders inside the country like the Stop Stoning Forever campaign, supported by campaigners around the world. Women’s rights defenders face a tough time in Iran and we’re doing all we can to support them – you can do your bit too. Now Iran needs to follow this up and abandon flogging as well – and it should start by commuting the sentence of Shamameh Ghorbani. Please spread the word.
Until next time,
Amnesty’s Project Blog Team"

Thank You for doing every thing that you can for her!

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