Democracy, Iranian Style

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, is an Iranian woman who has been compelled to live in the darkness that is known as Iranian justice for nearly two years. She was condemned to death by stoning for allegedly having an illicit affair with a man while married. Then, she was charged with conspiracy to kill her husband. The Iranian government felt embarrassed when virtually the entire world expressed shock at death by stoning. Yesterday, Iranian TV released photographs of Ms. Ashtiani at her home and there was an initial hope that she finally had been freed. Alas, this is Iran. It turns out she has been taken to her home in order to make a film that has her carefully explain the entire plot of how she planned to kill her husband. According to the official Iranian Press TV account: “a team of broadcast production team with the Iran-based Press TV has arranged with Iran’s judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual account of the crime at the murder scene.”

Of course, international standards of a fair trial, to which Iran has agreed to follow, guarantee a right to trial without the defendant being forced to confess.