Violence against women

Pakistan: Protect human rights defenders and ensure justice for murdered activists

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2012 Aug 2

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What You Can Do: 

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Please join Equality Now and the End Violence against Women and Girls (EVAW/G) Alliance KP & FATA by calling on the Pakistani government to:

  • ensure that Farida Afridi’s and Zarteef Khan Afridi’s murders are immediately and fully investigated and all perpetrators prosecuted for their crimes to the full extent of the law 
  • ensure the safety of human rights defenders, particularly women, and criminalize intimidation, harassment, threats, or attacks upon persons 
  • criminalize public statements or decrees inciting actual violence against human rights defenders

Help us spread the word about this campaign by sharing this Alert with your friends.

Letters should go to:

Mr. Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The Prime Minister’s Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Email: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk

Mr. Amir Haider Hoti
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Chief Minister House
Fort Road
Peshawar Cantt
Pakistan
Tel: +92 91 9213574, +92 91 9211719
Fax: +92 91 9210718, +92 91 9210743
Email: pskhyberpakhtoonkhwa@yahoo.com

Barrister Syed Masood Kausar
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Governor House Abdul Qayum Road
Peshawar
Pakistan
Fax: +92 91 9210087

Mr. Mutahir Zeb
Political Agent Khyber Agency
Office of the Political Agent Khyber Agency Bara Road
Peshawar Cantt
Pakistan
Fax: +92 91 9211900

Letters: 

Dear Prime Minister/Chief Minister/Governor:

I am deeply concerned about the recent attacks and threats upon human rights defenders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and FATA.

In particular, I am troubled by the 4 July 2012 murder of Farida Afridi, Executive Director of women’s rights organization Sawera based in FATA, who after facing threats for her women’s rights work, was shot to death outside her home. Additionally, in December 2011, Zarteef Khan Afridi, a coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), was similarly murdered, reportedly by extremist elements in FATA. A suspect has been arrested in Farida’s murder but the perpetrators in Zarteef Khan Afridi’s case remain at large.

According to NGOs in the area, threats to the lives of human rights defenders are common in KP province and FATA. Reportedly, during a sermon on 4 May 2012, a politically influential religious cleric, Maulvi Abdul Haleem, from Kohistan district in KP province warned women NGO workers against entering Kohistan and threatened to forcibly marry violators to locals. Such statements have led to fear amongst NGO workers, particularly women. I am troubled that the provincial government has not taken any steps to protect human rights activists in the region and rights groups working in KP and FATA are losing staff whose lives and safety are threatened.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders specifies the obligations of States to guarantee and protect the rights of human rights defenders. Pakistan also has a duty to protect all human rights established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (Article 2), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (Article 2) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (Article 3). The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo have both taken note of violations against human rights defenders working on women’s rights in Pakistan and have highlighted the State’s responsibility to investigate and promptly ensure that perpetrators are held accountable. Additionally, in the June 2008 report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan, Pakistan was called upon to ‘combat impunity for attacks on human rights defenders by effectively investigating allegations and by prosecuting those responsible.’

I support the Charter of Demands drafted by the End Violence against Women and Girls (EVAW/G) Alliance KP & FATA and join them in urging you to:

  • ensure that the murders of Farida Afridi and Zarteef Khan Afridi are immediately and fully investigated and all perpetrators prosecuted for their crimes to the full extent of the law
  • ensure the safety of human rights defenders, particularly women and criminalize intimidation, harassment, threats, or attacks upon persons
  • criminalize public statements or decrees inciting actual violence against human rights defenders

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Liberia: Enact a law banning FGM as a matter of urgency

Action Number: 
37.2
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2012 Jun 26
Update Date: 
2013 Mar 12
Update: 

MARCH 12, 2013 UPDATE: On 17 January 2013, Ruth Berry Peal's lawyer, Deddeh Wilson, informed Equality Now that she had filed a motion requesting the court to dismiss the defendant’s appeal of their jail sentence for failure to complete the appeal process. On 24 January 2013, the court dismissed the appeal case on grounds that 'the defendants did not file an approved bill of exceptions or did not secure the approval of the trial judge on the purported bill of exceptions.' On 26 February, the court issued a letter commanding the Sheriff of Montserrado to arrest the defendants.

Although Ruth has finally gotten justice for being forcibly mutilated, it has not been easy for her, as she continues to receive threats.  Mrs Speare, director of Women NGO Secretariat Liberia (WONGOSOL), stated that social and cultural circumstances in Liberia do not allow girls and women to oppose FGM or to escape, though girls sometimes resort to running away and hiding due to the lack of laws to protect them from the practice.  Ruth has been advised by the gender ministry to relocate to Monrovia but is reluctant to do so because her husband and children still live in Bomi, Liberia. Therefore, we are calling on the Liberian government to support and protect Ruth, as well as to build on indications made by the Minister for Internal Affairs in 2011 to enact and enforce a law banning FGM as a matter of urgency.


 

view as pdf

What You Can Do: 

>> TAKE ACTION NOW! Please join Equality Now and our Liberian partners, Women of Liberia Peace Network (WOLPNET) and Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), in calling on Liberian authorities to:

  • Ensure that Ruth Berry Peal’s case is swiftly and justly concluded
  • Ensure the enforcement of  the government’s suspension of Sande FGM activities
  • Honor Liberia’s international and regional human rights commitments by enacting and enforcing comprehensive legislation against FGM, as well as supporting educational outreach to relevant communities and local chiefs on the harms of FGM

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf    
P.O. Box 9001
Capitol Hill, Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Tel: +231 644 4696 
Email: ebfasama@emansion.gov.lr
etoles@emansion.gov.lr

Hon. Christiana H. Tah
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box  0123
Ashmun Street   
Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Tel: +231 669 7205
Email: ctah1@aol.com

Hon Julia Duncan Cassell
Minister for Gender and Development
P.O. Box 10-1375
110 UN Drive & Gurley Street
1000 Monrovia 10
Republic of Liberia
Tel: +231 651 6434  
Email: libgenderminister@gmail.com

Hon Blamo Nelson
Minister of Internal Affairs
Executive Mansion Ground
Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Tel: +231 651 3358 
Email: mgaryeazon@yahoo.com
http://www.mia.gov.lr

Letters: 

Dear [   ]

I welcome recent steps by the government to suspend Sande FGM activities including a notice issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to all counties directing that all Sande activities be shut down and indications that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Justice will work on a draft FGM law. However, I am alarmed by recent developments, where the government has so far failed to take action, including:

In March 2012, journalist Mae Azango was forced into hiding after publishing a story on FGM. Members of the Sande society have threatened to forcibly subject her to FGM.

In May 2012, more than 750 girls, believed to be encouraged by Sande members, underwent FGM in the Nimba County despite the Ministry of Internal Affairs notice to stop Sande activities.

Despite President Sirleaf’s pledge to make women’s rights and health a national priority in Liberia it is worrisome to note the lack of government intervention in the above-mentioned cases. In addition, I am concerned by media reports on the Minister of Information indicating that the government has no plans to end FGM. This lack of a unified stance by government officials undermines the efforts the government is making to end FGM.

I urge you to ensure that the government’s suspension of Sande FGM activities is enforced. Furthermore, please honor Liberia’s international and regional human rights commitments by enacting and enforcing comprehensive legislation against FGM as well as supporting educational outreach to relevant communities and local chiefs on the harms of FGM.

I thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Sudan: Stop the stoning of Intisar Sharif Abdalla

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2012 Jun 6
Update Date: 
2012 Jul 3
Update: 

UPDATE 3 July 2012: On 22 June, an appellate court vacated Intisar Sharif Abdalla’s sentence and ordered a new trial based on defects in the original trial. On 3 July, the trial court found no evidence to proceed with the trial and dismissed the charges. Intisar has been freed from prison. Thank you for taking action.

view pdf

What You Can Do: 

Please write to Sudanese officials to call for:

  • the immediate and unconditional release of Intisar Sharif Abdalla;
  • the establishment of a moratorium on death by stoning;
  • the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning;
  • the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as torture, flogging and stoning in accordance with Sudan’s obligations under the African Charter and the ICCPR;
  • a comprehensive review of the provisions of the Criminal Act of Sudan, 1991, in particular Article 146, and the removal of all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Sudan’s own constitutional provision on the right to equality and non-discrimination based on sex. 

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Please send your letters to:

President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
Office of the President
People’s Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan
Email: info@sudan.gov.sd

Mohammed Bushara Dousa
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Justice Towers
Gamhoria Street
PO Box 302
Khartoum, Sudan

Dr. Moaz Tango
Advisory Committee on Human Rights
Ministry of Justice
Justice Towers
Gamhoria Street
PO Box 302
Khartoum, Sudan

Jalal al-Din Mohammed Osman
Chief Justice
Ministry of Justice
Justice Towers
Gamhoria Street
P.O Box 302
Khartoum, Sudan

Letters: 

Dear ______:

I write to you with grave concern over the 13 May 2012 sentencing of Intisar Sharif Abdalla, a mother of three, to death by stoning for adultery under Article 146 of the Sudanese Penal Code.

The prescribed punishment of death by stoning violates Sudan’s International legal obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that clearly prohibit all forms of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and treatment. In addition, the death penalty for the crime of adultery does not fall within internationally accepted concept of ‘most serious offences’ warranting a death penalty as reiterated by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (currently the Human Rights Council) and Human Rights Committee.

Moreover, it appears that Intisar’s trial did not meet the standards of fair trial under Sudanese or international law. It is particularly concerning that her sentence was imposed based on a coerced admission after she was tortured by her brother. Confessions extracted under torture and duress should not be admissible in Court and cannot form the basis of a death sentence. Moreover, I believe that Intisar was denied the right to legal representation despite the guarantee under Article 34 (6) of the Interim National Constitution that “Any accused person has the right to defend himself/herself in person or through a lawyer of his/her own choice and to have legal aid assigned to him/her by the State where he/she is unable to defend himself/herself in serious offences.” In addition, Intisar was apparently not able to understand the proceedings against her that were conducted in Arabic, not her native language. The execution of persons after a trial that does not meet international fair trial standards amounts to a violation of the right to life.

I respectfully urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Intisar Sharif Abdalla, declare a moratorium on death by stoning, commute all sentences of death by stoning and prohibit all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, such as torture, flogging and stoning, in accordance with Sudan’s obligations under the African Charter and the ICCPR.

I further urge you to conduct a comprehensive review of the provisions of the Criminal Act of Sudan, 1991, and in particular Article 146 with a view to removing all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Sudan’s Constitutional provisions on the right to equality and non-discrimination based on sex.

Respectfully yours,

Sidra Humayun

Confronting Sexual Violence Head On in Pakistan
Sidra Humayun

1. Can you describe the hurdles that female victims of sexual violence typically face in seeking justice and help in Pakistan?

Liberian Jury Delivers "Guilty" Verdict on Ruth Berry Peal's Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11 July 2011
Contact: NAIROBI: Mary Ciugu, (254) 20 271-9832/913, equalitynownairobi@equalitynow.org
NEW YORK: Karen Asare, (01) 212-586-0906, media@equalitynow.org

Liberia: Ensure justice in the case of Ruth Berry Peal who was forcibly subjected to FGM

Action Number: 
37.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Mar 24
Update Date: 
2011 Jul 8
Update: 

Following a month of deliberation, a guilty verdict was announced on July 8, 2011 by the jury in Ruth Berry Peal’s case on charges of kidnapping, felonious restraint and theft.  The sentencing of the two women will take place this week by the judge, who in closing made references to the Liberian Constitution and Article 4(1) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (African Women’s Protocol), which states: “Every woman shall be entitled to respect for her life and the integrity and security of her person. All forms of exploitation, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.”

Equality Now and its Liberian partners, the Women of Liberia Peace Network (WOLPNET) and Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), welcome the jury’s decision and are eagerly awaiting the sentencing of the perpetrators.  We are also continuing to urge the government of Liberia to take expeditious action to protect girls and women from female genital mutilation, and, to this end, calling on the Liberian government to stop issuing permits to the FGM practitioners, to initiate the process towards enactment of a law criminalizing FGM and to invest in public education against the practice.

We are grateful to you for your steadfast advocacy for the rights of women and girls. Together we can make a difference, and a better world. Please continue to write to the Liberian government to enact a law against FGM and to stop issuing permits to FGM practitioners.  We will keep you informed of future developments.

Ruth Berry Peal
What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Liberian authorities noted below urging them to honor Liberia’s international and regional human rights commitments by enacting and enforcing comprehensive legislation against FGM as well as supporting educational outreach to relevant communities and local chiefs on the harms of FGM. Furthermore, urge the Minister of Internal Affairs to immediately cease the practice of issuing permits to schools where FGM is conducted. Also ask them to ensure that Ruth Peal obtains justice and remedy for the abuse she suffered. Because Ruth is threatened by members of the secret society and traditional heads who support the secret society, please request that the government provide her with immediate protection.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
P.O. Box 9001
Capitol Hill, Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Tel:             +231 644 4696     
Email: info@emansion.gov.lr

Dr. Christiana Tah
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box 0123
Ashmun Street
Monrovia, Republic of Liberia
Tel:            + 231 669 7205     
Email: info@moj.gov.lr
ctah@aol.com

H.E. Vabah K. Gayflor
Minister for Gender and Development
P.O. Box 10-1375
110 UN Drive & Gurley Street
1000 Monrovia 10
Republic of Liberia
Tel:             +231 651 6434     
Email: veegayflor@yahoo.com

H.E. Harrison Kahnweah
Minister of Internal Affairs
Executive Mansion Ground
Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Tel:             +231 651 3358     
Email: hkarnwea@yahoo.com
http://www.mia.gov.lr

Letters: 

Dear [Your Excellency/Minister]:

I am writing to express my deep concern over the high incidence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Liberia. It is estimated that Over 58 percent of Liberian women have undergone the practice of FGM, which is carried out through a politically influential female secret society known as the Sande society, as part of an initiation rite into womanhood. Many girls are subjected to FGM at traditional schools for the Sande society.  I am concerned to learn that Liberian Ministry of Internal Affairs issues permits to women who run these schools and carry out FGM on the girls in attendance.  

Women from non-FGM practicing communities may also be subjected to FGM in Liberia either through marriage into practicing groups or by force as was the case with Ruth Berry Peal, who was subjected to this practice in 2010 due to an order issued by a Gola chief presiding over her dispute with two women from an FGM practicing community.  Ruth was abducted from her home by the women and was taken to the ‘bush’ where she was forcefully genitally mutilated. She has filed a suit against the two women who mutilated her   and, as a result, has been receiving threats from the community to drop the case.

Despite the Liberian constitution which guarantees the rights of life, liberty and security of person to all Liberians and your ratification of various international and regional human rights treaties that mandate the protection of women and girls from the practice of FGM, (including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Women’s Protocol), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and of the Convention on the Rights of the Child), the Liberian government has failed to provide protection to the women and girls from being subjected to FGM.

Significantly, I note that the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the treaty body that monitors compliance with CEDAW, in examining your country’s report in 2009, urged you to “enact without delay . . . legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation and to ensure that offenders are prosecuted and punished in accordance with the severity of this violation” and to “immediately stop issuing permits to practitioners as currently being done by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.” It encouraged Liberia to “extend and accelerate implementation of programmes designed to sensitize and provide alternate sources of income for those who perform female genital mutilation” and to “strengthen its awareness-raising and educational efforts, targeted at both women and men, including government officials at all levels, chiefs and other traditional and community leaders, . . to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation and its underlying cultural justification.”

I urge you to take immediate action, as is your obligation under Article 5 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and under other international human rights treaties, and enact and enforce a law prohibiting FGM; to immediately cease the practice of issuing permits to FGM practitioners; and to institute other protective mechanisms that will guarantee protection to all women and girls in Liberia from undergoing FGM. I also respectfully request that you do all in your power to ensure that Ruth Berry Peal receives justice and protection. 

I thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

 

Ethiopia: Proposed New Law Threatens to Shut Down Non-Governmental Organizations

Action Number: 
22.5
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2008 Dec 15
Update Date: 
2009 Jan 6
Update: 

URGENT APPEAL: New Law Threatens Human Rights in Ethiopia

On 6 January 2009, the Ethiopian government pushed through passage of the Charities and Societies Proclamation before Parliament went on recess. The effects of this Proclamation were set out in Equality Now Women’s Action 22.5 (see below). We hope you have the time to send a letter immediately to the Ethiopian Justice Minister, urging immediate review and revision of this law. We have suggested a possible text below, but please feel free to write your own letter.

Without an amendment to the provision that restricts organizations which receive more than 10% of their funding from outside the country from undertaking any human rights work, many critical services and protections will disappear. Thank you for your partnership.

Equality Now

Sample letter

Woineshet Zebene Negash In March 2002, Equality Now partnered with the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) in the campaign to outlaw bride abduction in Ethiopia, adding an international overlay to the advocacy EWLA carries out on the ground.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the officials listed below expressing deep concern over the draft Charities and Societies Proclamation as it would effectively disallow human rights organizations from operating in Ethiopia. Highlight also the unacceptably wide scope of authority given to the proposed Charities and Societies Agency under the bill and the lack of transparency regarding its terms of operation. Ask the officials to ensure removal of the requirement that NGOs working on women’s rights and other specified issues raise at least 90% of their funding domestically and urge them to promote comprehensive revision of the text to guarantee that all NGOs, including those working to promote human rights, including women’s rights, are permitted to operate without political interference as provided under the Ethiopian Constitution and international human rights treaties to which Ethiopia is a party.

Letters should go immediately to:

H.E. Berhan Hailu
Minister of Justice
P O. Box 1370
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 3620
Fax: +251 11 551 7775
Email: justice@ethionet.et

H.E. Muferiat Kamil
Minister of Women’s Affairs
P.O. Box 1293
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 416 6375
Fax: +251 11 416 6362

With copies to:

H.E. Dr. Kassa G. Hiwot
Commissioner Ethiopian Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 1165
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 618 0046
Fax: +251 11 618 0041
Email: hrcom@ethionet.et

H.E. Ato Abay Tekele
Ombudsman Institution
P.O. Box 2459
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 553 2052/53
Fax: +251 11 553 2073
Email: ombudsmaneth@ethionet.et

 

Women's Action 22.1: March 2002
Women's Action 22.2: February 2004
Women's Action 22.3: November 2004
Women's Action 22.4: June 2005

Japan: Rape simulator games and the normalization of sexual violence

Action Number: 
33.2
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2009 Sep 1
Update: 

Following Equality Now's campaign the Japan Ethics Organisation of Computer Software (EOCS), whose members consist of 90% of the Japanese adult content computer game producers, banned the production and sale of games such as RapeLay and other games which simulate sexual violence. Although its regulations do not apply to non-EOCS producers, partners have informed us that owners of the majority of retail stores selling these games have stated they do not sell games by non-EOCS producers.

In addition, The Komei Party which was a member of the Japanese coalition government at the time, held a committee meeting on the issue of rape simulation games and created the Committee Working Towards a Child Safe World and Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Law Revision Committee, in response.

Our partners have stated that, "if a group based in Japan had initiated this campaign, a similar response from the Japanese government and the media would have been unlikely."


“Women are stupid creatures who don’t know how to do anything other than cook us dinner. This just proves their stupidity; they need to realize that the word ‘equality’ was a word created by men for men, and was never meant to be used by, referred to, or given to women.” (Online game blogger responding to Equality Now’s Women’s Action against rape simulator games in Japan)

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Japanese government officials below, calling on them to comply with Japan’s obligations under CEDAW, including the recent strong exhortation of the CEDAW Committee to ban games and cartoons that normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls. In your letter to the Minister of Justice ask her also to inquire about the requested investigation into the apparent gang rape video sent by Equality Now to the Tokyo police department, and ask that her office investigates this and other actual rape videos to ensure that all those involved are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Please also continue to write to Illusion Software asking it to withdraw immediately from sale all games which involve rape, stalking or other forms of sexual violence or which otherwise denigrate women. Suggest that corporations have a responsibility to consider, as good business practice, any negative impact their activities may have on society and the public interest. Please write a similar letter to Amazon Japan.

Mr. Tadashi Yoshimura
Managing Director
Illusion Software
1-10-1 Nishikanagawa Kanagawa-ku
Yokohama-city, Kanagawa 221-0822, Japan
Tel: (+81) (0)4-5322-1551
Email: illuon@illuon.jp, info@illuon.jp

Sample letter to Illusion Software

Mr. Jasper Cheung
President of Amazon Japan K.K
2-15-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-000-2, Japan
Email: via website

Sample letter to Amazon Japan

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
2-3-1 Nagata-Cho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 100-0014, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-3581-0101
Fax: (+81)(0)3-3581-3883
Email: via website

Sample letter to the Prime Minister

Ms. Keiko Chiba
Minster of Justice
1-1-1 Kasumigaseki,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8977, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-3580-4111
Fax: (+81)(0)3-3592-7393
Email: webmaster@moj.go.jp

Sample letter to the Minister of Justice

Women's Action 33.1: May 2009

Iran: Call on the Government of Iran to stop the imminent execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Jun 28
Update Date: 
2012 Jul 2
Update: 

Update 2 July 2012: Based on information currently available, Equality Now believes that Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s death sentence may have been commuted and she will no longer be stoned to death or hanged. We will continue to monitor the case. Thank you for taking action and we will keep you updated as further information is received from our partners on the ground.
___________

Update 29 September 2010: Equality Now calls on the Government of Iran to commute Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s death sentence.

Equality Now is deeply concerned about the news stating that Iran has sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani to death by hanging for the murder of her husband and condemns the lack of due legal process in her case.

Iran’s National Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei is reported to have stated that “according to the court’s ruling, she is convicted of murder and her death sentence has priority over her punishment (for committing adultery)”. Contradicting this account however, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast is reported to have said that a decision has still not been made and the court is considering both the adultery and murder charge against Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani.

In May 2006, Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to 99 lashes for allegedly having “illicit relations” with two men and a prison term for being an accessory to her husband’s murder. In September 2006, the Sixth Branch of the Penal Court of East Azerbaijan Province, despite having no new evidence and despite a “double jeopardy” provision in Iranian law that prohibits the State from trying a person for an offence for which she has already been acquitted or convicted, sentenced Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani to stoning to death for adultery.

Following international outcry, Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s stoning was halted. However, Iranian authorities seem determined to have her executed without any regard for Iranian law or international legal standards. To this end, they appear to be illegally resurrecting the murder charge so that Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani can be put to death by the State by any means possible.

TAKE ACTION! Equality Now calls upon the Iranian government to rescind Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani's death sentence. We urge the government to commute all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging and stoning in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. We also urge the officials to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s constitutional provision for equality before the law.

Please contact officials below calling for the commutation of Sakineh’s death sentence.
___________

Update 13 August 2010: Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer Mr. Mohammad Mostafaei has been granted asylum in Norway after fleeing Iran. It has also been reported that Mr. Mostafaei’s wife and brother-in-law have been released from prison. Equality Now welcomes news of their release and that Mr. Mostafaei is safe from harassment, however we remain concerned about the welfare of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who remains under threat of execution. Please continue to write to officials below to call for her immediate release.
___________

Update 26 July 2010: Equality Now calls on Iranian authorities to rescind the arrest warrant issued against Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer and to immediately and unconditionally release all members of his family held in custody.

Equality Now condemns the harassment of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer Mr Mohammad Mostafaei by Iranian authorities. Mr Mostafaei was summoned for questioning by the Iranian government authorities. He has been asked to attend for another round of interrogation and the information we have received is that an arrest warrant has also been issued in his name allegedly for fraud and corruption. Mr Mostafaei has now disappeared, we believe due to fear of being arrested and imprisoned. It is our understanding that authorities have arrested Mr Mostafaei’s wife and brother-in-law in order to force him to come forward. His current whereabouts are unknown and it is possible he might already be in custody.

Equality Now is deeply concerned about the serious and persistent threats to human rights defenders in Iran. Please call on the authorities listed below to immediately and unconditionally release of all Mr Mostafaei’s family members held in custody, rescind any arrest warrant issued against Mr Mostafaei and allow Mr Mostafaei to carry out his legitimate duties without interference. Please also continue to call for Sakineh’s immediate release as she remains under threat of execution.
___________

Update 9 July 2010: Equality Now welcomes the announcement from the Iranian Embassy in London that Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani will no longer be stoned to death. However, we remain concerned for Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani as her death sentence has not been commuted and her fate is unknown. Please continue to write to the authorities below calling on them to commute Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani's death sentence, to commute all sentences of death by stoning, to prohibit by law all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments and to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.

 

Sakineh Mohammadi-AshtianiURGENT ALERT: IRAN
June 2010

Call on the Government of Iran to stop the imminent execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani sentenced to death by stoning

Equality Now is deeply concerned about Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Iranian officials below calling for Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging and stoning in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law. TAKE ACTION!

His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani
Head of the Judiciary
Vali Asr Avenue, above the intersection Pasteur,
Azizi Street 2, No. 4,
Office of Public Relations and Judicial Procedures
Tehran
Iran
Email: info@dadiran.ir

Equality Now will forward letters to Iranian officials on behalf of anyone who does not wish to include her or his personal contact information. Please send letters to info@equalitynow.org.

Please also contact the Iranian embassy in your country. The following link may help you find the contact information: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Iran

In the United States please contact:
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran
(Housed in the Embassy of Pakistan)
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 965-4990, (202) 965-4992, (202) 965-4993, (202) 965-4994, (202) 965-4999
Fax: (202) 965-1073
Email: requests@daftar.org

In the United Kingdom please contact:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince's Gate
London SW7 1PT
Phone: 0207 225 3000
Fax: 0207 589 4440
Email: info@iran-embassy.org.uk

Sample letter

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