Iran has not yet executed Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the mother of two sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. The Daily Beast’s Women in the World community—including Shohreh Aghdashloo, Madeleine Albright, Tina Brown, Leymah Gbowee, Susan Lyne, Jacqueline Novogratz, and Gloria Steinem—have condemned the death sentence in a petition. Read their original statement below.
We, the members of The Daily Beast’s Women in the World community, a group committed to seeing women's rights protected around the world, condemn the inhumane death sentence of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, and urgently request that the Iranian government revoke any further punishment and release her to safety and to her family.
At this moment, Sakineh sits in her cell in Tabriz, cut off from the outside world after a horrific four-year ordeal. In 2006, she was convicted of having an “illicit relationship” with two men and received 99 lashes with a whip as punishment. Later, she was further convicted of “adultery” and sentenced to death by stoning.
So far, the outcry from the international community—prompted by desperate pleas from her children—seems to have helped stave off Sakineh’s execution.
Now, there is a new urgency: reports are surfacing that Iran has issued two more stoning death sentences for the crime of adultery. Meanwhile, Sakineh’s life remains very much in peril, as new reports indicate her stoning sentence has been changed to execution by hanging.
We as Women in the World are deeply troubled; under no circumstances do these charges warrant the death penalty.
Women and men around the world are faced with a moral imperative to denounce this injustice. We urge all of you who consider yourselves members of the Women in the World community to do so with one powerful voice.
Please join us by signing this petition to save Sakineh’s life.
Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo has achieved nationwide stardom in her homeland of Iran. During the 1978 Islamic revolution, Aghdashloo left Iran for England and earned a bachelor's degree in international relations.
Serving under President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright was the first female U.S. Secretary of State. Prior to her appointment in 1997, she served as U.S. representative to the United Nations. She is currently a professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Tina Brown is the founder and editor in chief of The Daily Beast and author of the 2007 New York Times bestseller The Diana Chronicles.
The Liberian peace and women's rights activist Leymah Gbowee is The Daily Beast's Africa columnist and founder of Liberian Mass Action for Peace.
Before serving as CEO of Gilt Groupe, Susan Lyne was president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she led the company’s recovery and return to profitability.
Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of a nonprofit venture-capital fund that serves the developing world and bestselling author of The Blue Sweater, is a former banker who advocates closing the widening gap between the rich and the poor in developing countries.
Gloria Steinem is a writer and activist who has been involved in feminist and other social justice movements for more than 40 years. She co-founded Ms. magazine and has written numerous bestsellers.