Oh, she confessed? By all means, then.

I read this in the newspaper yesterday. Agence France report that as part of a political campaign against the ‘propaganda of western media’, Iranian national TV aired an interview of a (conveniently) veiled woman who confessed to conspiring with her lover to kill her husband, knocking her husband out with some drug, and letting the other man electrocute her husband. The woman, Ashtiani, was sentenced to be stoned to death.

Naturally, international reactions ranging from consternation to appeals for mercy followed. The stoning has been temporarily commuted to hanging (Get that? To be hanged until dead is what counts in the Islamic fucking Republic of Iran as ‘mercy’), with propaganda like this presumably clearing the way to the original sentence being fulfilled. The woman’s lawyer says she may have been tortured until she agreed to appear on camera and confess to the crime. I’d be tempted to say ‘No shit, Sherlock’, if the situation weren’t this grave. (Incidentally, the lawyer is being hunted by Iranian authorities, his wife’s been detained, and he’s sought asylum in Norway.)

Even if the woman who appeared on camera was Ashtiani (I’m not prepared to accept this on faith. Not when the party concerned is Iran), and even if the woman did conspire to kill her husband, this sort of savagery has no place in the 21st century. Especially not when the man who actually committed the murder was pardoned after three years in prison.


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