For those of you who have had their head under a rock (pardon the pun) over the last five or six months, here's a quick background:
Way back in 2006, 43-year-old mother of two, Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death in separate trials by two different courts in Tabriz (northwestern Iran). One of the sentences (execution by hanging), was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an appeals court in 2007. This was for the involvement in the murder of her husband. But the sentence of stoning to death for the adultery charge still held fast.
The story had received wide coverage in the global media, and specifically much outrage by predominately western countries for what is considered a most barbaric and outdated mode of capital punishment (in Iran, women sentenced to stoning are buried until their arms are no longer mobile, and rocks are then pelted at the upper part of the torso and head).
Let me be quite clear - my personal views on capital punishment and the methods used to carry out the sentences in various countries have no bearing on this article. It is especially not my place to question the practices - for example, in Singapore, the death penalty is still very valid for what might be considered 'minor' crimes by western standards, and caning is still applied to criminals for a variety of offences... whether or not I find such sentences barbaric or outdated, the fact remains that Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates on the planet.
Nor is it for me to say whether or not the numerous claims of Ashtiani's confession as being 'forced' or 'coerced' are true. Many supporters of the abolition of death by stoning in Iran, have denounced this latest video as a ploy by the Government to try and answer the criticism of their laws by the international media.
It certainly is a fact that the report (which also included interviews with Mohammadi Ashtiani, her son Sajjad and their lawyer, Javid Houtan Kian - both also in jail), did not offer up any new information about the case.
It did, however, point the finger clearly at Iranian anti-stoning activist Mina Ahadi (based out of Germany) for attempting to undermine the Islamic republic by creating hype in the western media. According to the case prosecutor, Mousa Khalilollahi, Ahadi is involved in counter-revolutionary groups.
In the video reconstruction, Mohammadi Ashtiani relives the details of her husband's murder, with very little emotion. It was filmed in her home in the town of Oskou.
Ashtiani is shown injecting her husband (played by an actor) with a sedative, and then another actor playing the part of her lover arrives on the scene and attaches wires to the sedated man's feet and neck before plugging them into an electrical power point.
The reconstruction also shows actual photographs of the deceased, Ibrahim Abedzadeh, with burns clearly visible on his body.
Perhaps the next video I've embedded here is a little insensitive to this entire debate, and many may indeed criticize me for being heartless... but what the heck - this is one of the funniest 'stoning by death' scenes that I remember from my younger years... Enjoy!!