Son pleads for help as mother awaits stoning in Iran
By Gena Somra, CNN
(CNN) — Sajjad Mohammedie Ashtiani travels to a Tabriz jail in Iran every Monday to see his mother. And for 15 minutes each week, he speaks to his mother, Sakine Mohammedie Ashtiani, through the prison glass that divides them. Neither mother nor son ever know if the visit will be their last. Convicted of adultery in 2006, Ashtiani has been sentenced to be stoned to death for her alleged crime.
Originally sentenced to 99 lashes for her alleged “illicit relationship outside of marriage,” Ashtiani endured that punishment in front of her then 17-year-old son. “The authorities asked if I wanted to wait outside. I said no. I could not leave my mother alone.” Sajjad says it is a day he will never forget. But, he says, that day he thought the worst was over.
“I was thinking, OK, they hit her, now it’s finished. They told me this process was finished. She’s done. She’s free to go. ” But then a judges’ panel in Tabriz suspected Ashtiani of being involved in her husband’s murder and re-opened her case.
She was cleared of the murder charges, but the panel re-examined Ashtiani’s adultery sentence, and based on unspecified “judges’ knowledge,” decided she should be put to death for the alleged affair.
“At that time it should have been finished. They should have punished her only once,” says her son. “Her documents say she is innocent. She paid for the crime five years ago.”
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