Two sisters – identified only as Zohreh and Azar – have been convicted of adultery in Iran.
They have now been sentenced to be stoned to death.
Adultery is a crime punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with the canons of Islamic Sharia law. The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the stoning sentence.
Zohreh and Azar have already received 99 lashes for "illegal relations." Yet they were tried again for the same crime, and convicted of adultery on the evidence of videotape that showed them in the presence of other men while their husbands were absent. The video does not show either of them engaging in any sexual activity at all.
Their crime is non-existent, their trials a miscarriage of justice, and their sentencing a barbarity.
All those who believe in human rights and human dignity should protest against this sentence.
We call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to drop all prosecution of Zohreh and Azar, and to end punishment by stoning.
We call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to end the Sharia-inspired and institutionalized discrimination against women that results in their being treated as chattels of men.
We call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to affirm the equality of dignity of women with men and the equality of rights of all people, women with men, non-Muslims with Muslims, and to implement these principles in their laws.
We call upon the United Nations and human rights organizations to redouble their pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran until it ends its war on the rights of women and human rights in general.
We call upon feminists, including the signers of the statement drafted by The Nation's Katha Pollitt
, to join us in protesting this outrage. We continue to be stunned but not surprised by the silence of these feminists who have questioned the authenticity of our concern for Muslim women oppressed by the laws of Islam. The feminists who recently complained that the media has falsely represented them as indifferent to the plight of Muslim women have so far been conspicuously indifferent to the plight of Zohreh and Azar. We call upon these feminists in particular to join us in protesting the violence already done to Zohreh and Azar and the death penalty they face. The Islamic Republic of Iran is an oppressor of women. So far American feminists have failed to support their Muslim sisters. We call on them to join us in doing so now.