Son begs UN for global stoning ban

THE son of the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning has begged the UN Secretary-General to save his mother’s life.

In an open letter to Ban Ki-moon yesterday, Sajad Ghaderzade dismissed the Islamic Republic’s professed commitment to human rights as an “absolute lie” and called for an international ban on stoning. He insisted his mother, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, was innocent.

“Her sentence has not been stopped,” he said. “It has only been delayed, and could be carried out at any moment.”

Mr Ghaderzade painted a picture of a corrupt judicial system in cahoots with the Iranian regime. The 22-year-old bus driver from Tabriz said his mother had been acquitted of murdering her husband but sentenced to be stoned to death after being convicted, instead, of adultery.

He said she had been convicted without any firm evidence, and pointed out that she had already spent five years in prison and been given 99 lashes, while his father’s killer had walked free because he and his sister, Farideh, 17, had exercised their right to forgive him.

To the Iranian President he said: “You defend Lebanon, Palestine and Pakistan. Why don’t you feel responsible for your own people?”

In television interviews, Mr Ahmadinejad denied Ms Ashtiani had been sentenced to death by stoning and suggested the outcry had been whipped up by Western media propaganda.

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