Iran: Renewed fears for execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Posted on 27 January 2012


In December 2011, reports in the Iranian press stated that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman facing execution in Iran, could be executed by hanging. Sakineh was originally due to be executed by stoning, following her conviction. She remains at risk of execution, which could be ordered at any time. Take action now

Sentenced to death for committing adultery

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 44-year-old mother of two, was arrested in 2005 following the murder of her husband. She is being held on death row in Tabriz Prison, north-west Iran, after being convicted of “adultery while married” (which is punishable by stoning in Iran) and separately of being complicit in husband’s murder. Sakineh does not currently have legal representation as her representative was imprisoned and banned from practising law, following her case.

According to the officially-licensed Iranian Student News Agency, ISNA, on 25 December 2011, the Head of the Judiciary overseeing Sakineh’s case stated that “Islamic experts are reviewing the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to see if the execution can be carried out by hanging” – although he later said that he had been “misquoted”, without clarifying how.

The possible change in the method of execution has been discussed previously by judicial officials and has happened previously in other cases. Amnesty International fears that this news report may indicate that she is at renewed risk of execution.

Read background information and see a timeline of Sakineh’s case