Iran Human Rights, December 11: Last night, the Iranian state controlled Press TV broadcasted new "confessions" by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.
The stoning sentence against Sakineh Ashtiani received broad international attention forcing the Iranian authorities to halt her scheduled stoning. But since then the authorities have been trying to build up new murder charges against Sakineh. She was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison for complicity in the murder of her husband, but the Iranian authorities have since the summer mentioned several times that she could be hanged convicted of murdering the husband.
Two days ago some sources mentioned release of Sakineh Ashtiani, but it was soon clear that Sakineh’s presence at her home town was due to her (forced) participation in a "documentary" directed by the Iranian authorities.
Sakineh’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh was also present in the documentary.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights, strongly condemned what he called "another televised abuse of Sakineh Ashtiani by the Iranian authorities". He said: "Sakineh Ashtiani has appeared several times on theIranian national TV confessing against herself, but the fact that she appears on the state controlled English language Press TV indicates that they are trying to convince the international community that Sakineh Ashtiani is guilty of murder". Amiry-Moghaddam continued: "With the new televised confessions on the Press TV, the Iranian authorities want to ease the pressure and pave the way for Sakineh’s execution".
Commenting on the role of Press TV, Amiry-Moghaddam said: "Press TV is the English language branch of the Iranian security forces and must not be treated as a media organization by the international community".
Amiry-Moghaddam asked the world community to keep up the pressure on the Iranian authorities and warned against possible executions during the Christmas holidays. "Iranian authorities have previously taken advantage of the reduced media attention during the international holidays, such as Christmas and the new years", he said. "This Christmas, the world community must keep an open eye Sakineh Ashtiani and other known Iranian prisoners, and should follow the situation more than before".