“Lula’s recent outreach to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program clearly demonstrates Brazil’s close relationship with Iran,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “And yet, Iran rejected this asylum offer from a nation that it cannot accuse of being hostile to it. This proves Iran’s pariah status in the community of nations and makes the case that Tehran should be ostracized.”
Ashtiani, who speaks Turkish, not Farsi, was convicted in 2006 and received 99 lashes for her alleged crime. But the case was reopened later that year with “new” evidence, and she was then sentenced to death by stoning. Her lawyer said she was forced to confess to the adultery charge and has since retracted the confession. Last month, the method of execution was changed to death by hanging for the mother of two. Her fate is currently unknown.
“B’nai B’rith International vehemently denounces this egregious violation of human rights,” Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Of course Iran is one of the world’s most notorious human rights abusers, and our expectations of any compassion by the Tehran regime are nil. Unfortunately, Ashtiani is not the only prisoner in Iran facing an inhumane sentence. But by putting a face to Iran’s human rights atrocities, we can hope international pressure will lead to change.”