Quite a few sources are reporting that Sakineh Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran has been freed. I was at Al-Jazeera earlier today, waiting to go on TV to speak about online protest, and I met a lady from The International Committee against Stoning.
She said their sources had told them that Ashtiani was going to be freed and this information had been leaked out. But it’s not been confirmed by the Iranian government yet and Iranian broadcasters are still reporting she is wanted for the murder of her husband (which is rubbish). Press TV has not yet reported anything on the matter either.
So it’s too early to celebrate. Though ICS expect this to happen eventually, you never know with the Iranian regime. A statement by the UK govt welcoming such a move by the Iranian govt might not go amiss either.
But it is worth saying that this has been an excellent example of grassroots worldwide anger (driven by the web) that has forced the Iranian government on the defensive. If Sakineh Ashtiani does get eventually freed it will be another victory for online protests (Avaaz.org led a massive petition to get her freed). The Guardian has a report here.
[Update: cleaned up my hurried and garbled English from earlier]
Update 2: This is the only news story out of Press TV so far: Ashtiani recounts murder on Press TV – not a good sign.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East