Brazil President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva has offered asylum to the Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted of adultery in 2006 with no evidence to back up the conviction, no witnesses either. Iranian judges can convict women of adultery by a “feeling” that they think the woman is guilty. Her plight has brought worldwide attention to both her case and others. Celebrities and various governments have expressed outrage at both the conviction and the sentence imposed on Ashtiani.
Brazil has recently entered into friendly standings with Iran having initiated talks aimed at restarting Iran’s nuclear program. In May, Brazil aided Iran in securing a deal that would provide Tehran with enriched uranium for medical research.
President Silva was quoted as saying “I want to make an appeal to my friend Ahmadinejad and to the government of Iran to allow Brazil to take that woman.”
Recently the global attention to Ashtiani’s case prompted an interrogation of her attorney, Mohammad Mostafaei, by Iranian authorities. He has gone into hiding since the questioning. He recently posted a letter on the Internet reporting that the Iranian government has taken his wife and brother-in-law and were holding them without cause due to the fact that he was in hiding.
Mostafaei did an interview in early July with CNN saying his client only confessed to the crime of which she is accused after being subjected to 99 lashes. While most women sentenced as Ashtiani’s situation are shunned by their families, her children have led the global outreach to help secure a reprieve for their mother.