Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... International Day Against Stoning vs Iranian Government

Protesters: International Day Against Stoning
Target: The Iranian Government
Location: The Iranian Embassy, London
Date: 9-11 July

The lowdown

Sunday marked International Day Against Stoning, ending a week of activities to protest against the use of stoning for execution in Iran. Protesters in London called for the end of hanging and stoning executions during rallies outside the Iranian Embassy over the weekend.

- Why the protests?

Twelve Iranian women and three men are on death row awaiting execution by stoning. Often crimes include adultery by women. In one case, Maryam Ayubi, an alleged adulteress, fainted while being ritually washed before her execution in 2001 and was stoned to death strapped to a stretcher. Outrage led to the marking of 11 July as the annual International Day Against Stoning.

- How did the Iranian Government respond?

The Iranian Embassy in London said in a statement that 'according to information from the relevant judicial authorities' the stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani would not go ahead. Ashtiani was awaiting execution in the Iranian town of Tabriz after what her lawyer called an unjust trial and a 'sham' conviction. She may still be executed by hanging.

- How did the media cover it?

Despite strong interest in the nationals for the issue of stoning, most UK media showed little interest in the protests. Elsewhere, there was coverage on CNN's website and on the Indian site Mid-Day.

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