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UPDATE: Mokarrameh Ebrahimi released from prison!!

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! (SKSW!) welcomes the news of the release of Mokarrameh Ebrahimi and her son Ali from Choobin Prison, in Takistan, Qazvin, in Iran, where she had been awaiting execution by stoning for adultery for the past ten years.

On 17 March 2008 Mokarrameh Ebrahimi and her 4-year-old son were released from prison by the Iranian authorities in Tehran. Mokarrameh was sentenced to be stoned to death ten years ago, along with her partner, Jafar Kiani, who met his death on 5 July 2007. While in prison, she gave birth to their son Ali who remained in custody with his mother.

Mokarrameh’s release was the result of a long and difficult struggle by the Stop Stoning Forever (SSF) campaign in Iran, the commitment of her lawyer, Shadi Sadr, and the increasing pressure put upon the Iranian government by the international community. Another factor in Mokarrameh’s amnesty verdict may have been the fatwas (religious opinions) issued by three significant ayatollahs (clerics) in recent months. These fatwas all stated that stoning Mokarrameh to death would be against the shari’a.

For the time being, Mokarrameh has been discouraged from speaking to the media, but she and her son Ali are safe with her elder son and are staying with family, hoping to build a new, independent life for herself and her two sons.

Her case, along with others who face the same fate having been sentenced to death by stoning, has inspired the formation of this global campaign last November, hosted by the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network. The SKSW! campaign has been working closely with the Stop Stoning Forever campaign in Iran who were responsible in bringing the case of Mokarrameh and others in Iran to world attention from 2006.

Stoning, or lapidation, refers to a method of execution in which an organized group throws stones or rocks at the person they wish to execute. Although it takes many different forms, stoning has been used throughout history and in many religious and cultural traditions as a type of community justice or capital punishment. In Iran, as in the Sudan, stoning is codified into law for adultery. Although the Head of the Judiciary of Iran, Ayatollah Shahroudi, decreed in 2002 that stoning would no longer be practiced in Iran, the laws were never officially removed from the penal code and stoning sentences continue to be handed down by lower judges today. Although there are no official statistics, there are at least 8 women and 1 man who remain in prison in Iran, currently facing execution by stoning.

You can show your support for those sentenced for adultery to death by stoning by demanding their release.

National-level legal reforms are imminent: you can write to the Iranian government, and the embassy of Iran in your home country, urging the revision of the existing criminal law code in order to omit the stoning sentence and decriminalize consensual sexual behaviour. It is crucial to keep the pressure on the authorities of Iran to enact these changes.

Stoning to death is a particular, but not exclusive focus of the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! We seek to end the relentless misuse of religion and culture to justify killing women as punishment for violating the imposed ‘norms’ of sexual behaviour around the world. The killing of women – under any pretext – is unacceptable and is a grave and serious violation of international human rights law.

For more information about Mokarrameh Ebrahimi and the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign, please visit the following sites:

http://www.wluml.org
http://www.wemc.com.hk/web/culture_and_VAW.htm
http://www.meydaan.com (Farsi)
http://www.meydaan.com/english/default.aspx (English)

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

You can continue to show your support for other women and men sentenced for adultery to death by stoning by demanding their release.

The recent elections in Iran brought the possibility of imminent national-level legal reforms: you can write to the Iranian government, and the embassy of Iran in your home country, urging the revision of the existing criminal law code in order to omit the stoning sentence and decriminalize consensual sexual behaviour. It is crucial to keep the pressure on the authorities of Iran to enact these changes.

The Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Khamenei

Tel: +98 21 64412020
Fax: +98 251 7774 2228
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir / istiftaa@wilayah.org / webmaster@wilayah.org
Salutation: Your Excellency

The Head of Judiciary: Ayatollah Shahroudi

Tel: +98-21 22741002
+98-21 22741003
+98-21 22741004
+98-21 22741005
Fax: + 98 21 3390 4986
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
irjpr@iranjudiciary.com and info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

The President: Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Tel: +98 21 88825071
+98 21 88825072
+98 21 88825073
+98 21 88825074
+98 21 88825075
Fax: Via foreign affairs: +98 21 6 674 790 and ask to be forwarded to His Excellency Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
Salutation: His Excellency

Please note that you may have difficulty contacting the officials inside Iran. Please also contact the Iranian officials in your country of residence, for whom some telephone and fax numbers are listed below:

United States:
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, D.C. Tel: +(202) 965-4990; (202) 965-4991; (202) 965-4992; (202) 965-4993; (202) 965-4994; (202) 965-4999
Fax: (202) 965-1073; (202) 965-4990

Canada: Embassy of Iran in Ottawa
Tel: (613) 232-5712

United Kingdom: Embassy of Iran in London
Tel: 0207-225-3000
Fax: 0207-589-4440

Switzerland: Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in Switzerland, Geneva
Tel: (41-22)332 21 00-21
Fax: (41-22)733 02 03

United Arab Emirates: Embassy of Iran in Abu Dhabi
Tel: +9712-4447618
Fax: +9712-4448714

Denmark: Embassy of Iran in Copenhagen
Tel: 3916-0003
Fax: 3916-0075

Norway: Embassy of Iran in Oslo
Tel: (+47) 23 27 29 60
Fax: (+47) 22 55 49 19

Russia: Embassy of Iran in Moscow
Tel: 9178655; 9179679; 9175219; 9177282; 9170039; 9172442; 9178959
Fax: 2302897; 9179683

Finland: Embassy of Iran
Tel: +358-9-6869 240
Fax: +358-9-6869 2410

South Africa: Embassy of Iran
Tel: +27 (012) 342 58 80 / 1
Fax: +27 (012) 342 18 78

Germany: Embassy of Iran in Frankfurt
Tel: +49 (0) 69 56 000 739 - 740
Fax: +49 (0) 69 56 000 728
Email: iran.botschaft@t-online.de, info@irangk.de, info@igk-hamburg.de.

India: Embassy of Iran in New Delhi
Tel: +91-11-23329600/ 01 / 02
Fax: +91-11-23325493

Embassy of Iran in Brussels
15a avenue Franklin Roosevelt
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15
Email: iran-embassy@yahoo.com and secretariat@iranembassy.be