You’ll remember the news about Sakineh Ashtiani, the Iranian woman accused of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. You may also remember that after a world-wide rally was held on her behalf, her lawyer disappeared, and subsequently resurfaced in Turkey. Around that same time, new allegations surfaced that Ms. Ashtiani has conspired to murder her husband, which was the real reason she was being sentenced. Of course those charges were never proven, and she denied them repeatedly.
Iranian state TV has aired what it says is a confession by a woman under threat of being stoned to death for adultery. In the interview shown on Wednesday, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani purportedly admits conspiring to murder her husband in 2005 and denounces her lawyer.
Of course… her face was blurred out, and her voice was dubbed over, and she was wearing a black niqab so it was impossible to identify her… but she said it was her. And so what if she all of a sudden is completely retracting her position for the past 5 years… she said it was her!
The airing of the TV confession is a sign that she could soon be executed, probably by hanging, our correspondent says. It seems the Iranian officials are sending a tough message to Western media and human rights groups that if they interfere in Iranian affairs and cause embarrassment, it will be counter-productive, he adds.
I don’t know if I can believe that second part. I’ll certainly buy that the government seems hell-bent on murdering this woman, regardless of either legality or reality or the outcry from the rest of the world. If the Iranian government thinks that anyone will be swayed by such a flimsy and obviously-fabricated ‘confession’, they’re severely overestimating the level of trust that the rest of the world has in the state of Iran. I’d be unlikely to believe this from my own government, let alone that of an evidently psychotic theocratic bully state with a history of fraud and intimidation.
The scarier prospect is that they know their video is crap, but that they don’t care enough to make it believable – that it’s just a big ‘fuck you’ to the rest of the world. From what I’ve seen of the Iranian regime, that’s quite likely to be the case.