Sunday, 25 July 2010

AIM Takes Part in International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtaini Day

Friday night, well more Saturday early morning actually, saw me sitting on my living room floor cutting up cardboard packing boxes, applying tape, staples and poly pockets and doing lots and lots of printing. The end results were some homemade protest placards and signs of different sizes and alot of letters and petitions. I was pretty pleased with myself.

Saturday morning saw me carry these on the train to Edinburgh. 2pm saw Lilith and I standing at the bottom of the mound speaking to people about Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her pending sentence of death by stoning, and collecting signatures to have Iran removed from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

The response we had was almost all positive and it made us both feel good that so many people passing by recognised the picture of Sakineh and were aware of her case. Worryingly a large number of people were under the impression she had been pardoned and was out of danger but we did everything we could to give out the most accurate and up to date information. We were approached by several different Iranian people who were visiting Edinburgh from their new home countries such as France and Canada. One female Iranian was almost in tears as she thanked us for what we were doing and told us that the help of international campaigns and governments did make a difference and was definitely needed. During the two and a half hours that we were there we spoke to the old, the young, men, women, even some children, blacks, whites, asians, orientals, locals, tourists, lawyers, students, the unemployed, gays, straights... almost all of whom cared.

We ran out of letters and petitions to be signed, and gave out a good number of AIM business cards to the many people who wanted to follow the case further. Of nearly 100 pieces of paper taken with us, be they letters to the PM, petitions to the UN or facts and information about Sakineh and the campaigns working to help her, they were all either signed or handed out. Some passersby even agreed to have their pictures taken holding a photograph of Sakineh to show their support of her and all those many others in her position.

So that was The AIM in Edinburgh, but we were not alone in the actions we took. All over the world people came out and showed their support of Sakineh on what the campaign to save her has named International Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Day. The AIM was represented at a protest in Toronto, Canada by member Coffy and his daughter Dee. Our One Law For All comrades took part in protests in London and we also heard that an AIM supporter and GRep member held a small protest with her friends in California. Most countries in Europe had rallies and protests as well as a number of cities in Canada, the US and Australia.

There is still a lot of work to be done if Sakineh is to be saved. At the moment her case is being reviewed and the decision has been put off for a further 20 days. Many, including myself, believe that this is in the hope that the eyes of the world will turn elsewhere and Iran can then stone her behind the closed doors they have until recently enjoyed. We cannot allow this to happen. The life of Sakineh and the safety of those in Iran supporting her are in danger until this is over. Her son and her lawyer have both been summoned to the ministry of justice for questioning and have been threatened with arrest. Sakineh herself has been interrogated inside the prison about who she has had contact with outside of Iran and in the media and about how her photo has been circulated around the world.

If you have not already done so please sign one or all of the many petitions online and write a letter to as many people as you can think of. Ask your local government representative to apply pressure in the right places, find and get involved with a campaign in your local area. Tell your friends and family about it and ask them to sign the petition. Consider printing a picture of Sakineh or a sign and take a photo or record a video message of support and post it online, or send it to me and I will add it to those I already have to be posted. Make a video, write a blog, draw a picture. Until it is over one way or another then I will not stop fighting for this woman's life, and for the lives of the many others that are, or in future may be, in her position. Please fight with me.

The campaign to save Sakineh and the protests held yesterday were covered by a number of online blogs and news sources including Iran Solidarity, BBC, CNN, StopStoningNow and many users via YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic.. am very proud of you! Love the pics of the people joining in. You all did a great job of raising the awareness of Sakineh's impending fate, thank you.