Ofcom clears Iranian TV station over woman's murder reconstruction
really the right sort of job for TV censors who usually spend all their time deliberating how sex on TV can be further reduced?
These are diplomatic and human rights issues where people's lives are at risk. It comes across as pathetic that Ofcom
somehow take the word of the abominable Iranian authorities that the participants were not under duress. There is simply no point throwing 'taste and decency' concerns around like this. They may just as well try to impose a rule of no death by stoning
before the 9pm watershed.
Ofcom has ruled that Iran's state-run Press TV station, which has offices in London, did not breach the UK's broadcasting rules in transmitting a programme that showed an Iranian woman participating in the reconstruction of her alleged part in the murder
of her husband.
In response to a complaint made by the Iranian human rights campaigner Fazel Hawramy, who asked whether it was ethical for Press TV to make the imprisoned son play his murdered father, Ofcom said in a letter, seen by the Guardian,
that the broadcaster had not breached its code.
Given the broadcaster's assurances that both Sakineh Ashtiani and her son willingly participated in this programme, we considered that the context was not materially misleading so as to cause harm
and offence, Adam Baxter, standards executive of the media regulator, wrote to Hawramy.
A 28-year-old Pennsylvania man has been charged with murder after telling police he stoned to death a 70-year-old man after the senior citizen allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward him.
John Joe Thomas told police he beat Murray Seidman
using a sock that was stuffed with rocks because he read in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned to death. The elderly man was hit in the head about 10 times, police said.
The relationship between the two is not known, but police
said Thomas was the sole beneficiary of Seidman's will.
Thomas said he received a message in his prayers that he must kill Seidman.
And indeed The Bible does seems to back up Thomas and his resort to violence:
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 New American Bible)
Maryam Namazie and Mina Ahadi, have had their pages on Facebook disabled.
Both were campaigning to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from being stoned to death in Iran.
Maryam and Mina have asked for support in their campaign to get their
Facebook pages reinstated.
ICAS' Abbas Goya has started a campaign on Facebook itself.
Update: One Restored, One to Go
22nd September 2010. From Maryam
By the way, Facebook had disabled Mina and my accounts recently right before the 18 September day of action for Sakineh and against stoning. After many letters of protest from supporters, and an
open letter to Facebook founders by a number of well-known personalities, my account has been enabled again, though Mina's
has not. Please keep writing to Facebook until they enable her account as well.
Shadi Sadr has helped Iranian women with free legal assistance and has started a campaign against stoning.
She's been awarded one of the foremost Dutch human rights prizes, the Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award. But not before experiencing
the regime's violence against women first-hand.
They beat me and forced me to go with them , Shadi Sadr tells Dutch radio. She was detained last July in the wake of popular protests against president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and brought to the
notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. Her interrogators knew exactly who she was.
In 2004, Sadr had founded Raahi: an organisation for women in legal trouble. Because Iranian women have few rights and even less independent access to funds, they're
often helpless in court. Raahi offered them free legal assistance, until the authorities closed it down.
She began a campaign to defend women who are sentenced to stoning , she says. Because the victims of this traditional - and in the eyes
of many barbaric - form of punishment are almost never men.
When she was detained in July, her interrogators at Evin Prison accused her of being controlled by foreign powers out to overthrow president Ahmadinejad.
The Dutch government has
awarded her the Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award for her extraordinary courage . But, she says, it's not just her struggle that's being recognized in this way.
She dedicates the award - which she received from Dutch foreign minister
Maxime Verhagen in The Hague - to all the people in Iran who fight every day to get their rights. Despite the fact that the protests against the president's re-election were crushed, she remains optimistic.
Projects The Human Rights
Defenders Tulip Award comes with a stipend of 10,000 euros. In addition, it includes funding of up to 100,000 euros for projects proposed by the winner, to further promote her or his cause.