Free Sakinek Ashtiani!

The column by Mely Kiyak in the Berliner Zeitung this morning (online at the Frankfurter Rundschau) has stuck in my mind all day. She describes death by stoning - from the perspective a a woman being stoned.

The column gets under your skin as she describes how the sand gets under the white sheet wrapped around you as the stones come crashing in. You can't see the men throwing the stones, only hear them, chanting verses from the Koran.

What is particularly worrying is that a 43-year-old woman in Iran, Sakinek Ashtiani, has been sentenced to death by stoning. Her crime? Adultery. And even though there are two who participate in this, only she has been sentenced - to die by this brutal method. In 2010.

The death sentence (apparently also being demanded in the USA for whoever leaked the Afghanistan Papers) is an abomination. Who are we to decide who shall live and who shall die? And why is a woman not allowed to decide who she wants to spend her life with?

Her children have set up a site: freesakineh.org. They are collecting signatures there, although I'm not sure that that will do anything. If you read German, read Kiyak's column. Then add your name to the list.

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