The update is that Sakineh will not be stoned to death (but she still could be hanged!).
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been in prison in Tabriz since 2006. The reason? According to Iranian authorities she had an "illicit relationship" (Sakineh was already a widow at the time of the alleged affair).
She has already endured 99 lashes and the state obtained a confession(!), which she later recanted.
The flogging spectacle can be quite effective as a coercive tool of social control.
What place has the government of Iran stoning its (female) citizens?
In Iran, male victims of execution by stoning are first buried up to their waists, then pelted with stones by a crowd of executioners. Women however, are buried up to their necks. The stones used are large enough to cause serious injury but not kill the person, and the victim often dies slowly and painfully.
At least 126 executions have been carried out in Iran this year, according to Amnesty International:
Recent developments in Iran have prompted fears that the Iranian authorities are once more using executions as a tool to try and quell political unrest, intimidate the population and send a signal that dissent will not be tolerated.To sign the petition to free Sakineh click here.