Transcript by Newsy.com
BY STEVEN HSIEH
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The story of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery has caused international outrage. Now- that woman- Sakineh Ashtiani’s has supposedly “confessed” to helping her lover kill the husband she is accused of cheating on.
Of course- the confession came during a documentary that aired on the government-run Press TV. Analysts say the documentary is an attempt by the Iranian government to deflect criticism over Sakineh’s harsh punishment.
“One day he called me and told me to send my children to my mother’s house in Tabriz. I asked why. He said, ‘Tomorrow I want to kill your husband.’ I asked how. He said, ‘You inject him with a drug and make him unconscious. Then I’ll come and electrocute him.’” (Sky News)
The documentary resembles a Court TV report- walking the audience through Sakineh’s story as if every event is proven fact.
Majikian: “If anyone betrays, that is, he goes against his vow, that is a promise he or she gives. If you don’t respect your word, no one will respect you.
Reporter:” But Sakineh’s story was more than just an affair or a betrayal. It was a betrayal that led to murder.”
But CBC points out what many are thinking- that the confession was forced.
“A confession, advocates say, was almost certainly made under duress. Iran has said Ashtiani’s case is being manipulated by the West to undermine the country. Human rights advocates say it is Iran that is guilty of manipulation, and this latest example is one of the most egregious yet."
And a Huffington Post blogger says Iranian authorities dipped to a new low in distracting the public from its human rights record. She says it’s pretty clear what’s going on here.
“Anyone with knowledge of legal procedures, of the minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners, or plain common sense, will not be fooled by this show of strength from a powerful and brutal state that can and does coerce citizens into confessing to crimes they may or may not have committed.”
Finally, a writer for the Telegraph says Sakineh’s case is one of many in Iran, and international attention could possibly have counterproductive consequences.
“The causes célèbres we pick on often seem to such places random and motivated by broader political concerns…from the Iranians’ point of view, our sudden singling out of [Sakineh’s] case is capricious, and demands similar treatment in return.”
The documentary does not say whether Sakineh will still be executed- but it does point out that her case is still making its way through the Iranian legal system.
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Amir Motlagh, famed DIY provocateur presents his first narrative feature length film.
Cameron, a writer who seems to have never finished his first novel, returns home to his mother's house in Orange County Ca., after a failed relationship and lack of direction with life. Back home, Cameron spends his time reacquainting with old high school friends, only to find that life has only gotten more confusing for everyone. What is a young man to do when he seems to have lost all hope?
-The film uses a cast made up of mostly non-actors, including Motlagh's real life parents. Many of the cast were first seen in Amir Motlagh's short film, Dino Adino (2001). By using an alternative narrative style, the film destroys the lines of fiction and documentary by engaging the audience in a way that traditional narrative fictions cannot. Motlagh utilized an approach that mixed the cinematic language, using influences ranging from Dogme 95, No Budget DIY, Iranian Cinema, Collage and Youtube to string together the film.
"DIY meets cinema art"
"A collage of life, weaved with a sparring, gentle narrative that says more, without hardly saying anything"
"An autistic vision of cinema, equal parts beautiful, indulgent, and raw"
"Life unfolds in Amir Motlagh's new film whale"
Production Company - AYA Films
Produced by - Amir Motlagh, Darren Oneil
Music- Shanks and the Dreamers
Running Length: 72 Minutes
Iran Infuriated By Film Of Woman's Stoning
A film portraying the real-life stoning of an Iranian woman is opening in London despite protests from the country's government.
It depicts a brutal form of punishment still sanctioned by Iran's current hard-line regime.The film's director, Cyrus Nowrasteh, has dedicated the screening to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani currently facing execution by stoning or hanging in Iran for adultery.
Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: "The final scenes of The Stoning Of Soraya M are quite horrific and many viewers might want to turn away. I'd urge them not to.
"This is the cruel reality of execution by stoning; watch, be enraged, and take action to stop this inhumane practice.
"The case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been taken up by people all over the world, who have protested and written letters to the Iranian authorities urging them to stop her execution by any method."We have to keep this pressure up and make it clear to Iran's leaders that killing Sakineh would cause a global outrage.
"We are calling on the Iranian authorities to stop this execution, stop the use of stoning altogether and stop criminalising the sex lives of consenting adults."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of using the Ashtiani case to generate further opposition against it at a time when the country's nuclear programme is drawing international condemnation.
The Stoning Of Soraya M serves as a painful reminder of the ruthlessness of the Iranian government - past and present.
"Stonings are thankfully rare in Iran but they represent the ugly tip of a very large iceberg.
"At least 190 people have already been executed this year in Iran, mostly by hanging and after unfair trials.
"Amnesty opposes the death penalty regardless of the method of execution.
The film's director claims some European governments have been reluctant to support it - fearful of antagonising Iran's regime, already at loggerheads with the West.
The film The Stoning Of Soraya M is based on the true story of a woman brutally killed after being falsely accused of adultery.
Soraya is stoned to death in her Iranian village under Islamic Sharia law.
NOT SURPRISINGLY, CONFLICTING REPORTS HAVE BEEN COMING OUT OF IRAN THE PAST FEW DAYS. ACCORDING TO Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury AT "HUDSON NEW YORK," IRAN MAY NOT HAVE RETRACTED ITS STONING SENTENCE AFTER ALL. ACCORDING TO SOME REPORTS, HER CASE IS POSSIBLY BEING DELAYED INSTEAD AND IS ONCE AGAIN UNDER REVIEW, AND A FINAL DECISION MAY BE MADE IN THE COMING DAYS. NEVERTHELESS, PLEASE URGE IRAN TO FREE SAKINEH MOHAMMADI E ASHTIANI, A 43 YEAR-OLD IRANIAN MOTHER OF TWO, SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ALLEGED ADULTERY. SUCH ACTS OF BIGOTRY AND BARBARIANISM IN IRAN AND AROUND THE WORLD MUST END.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING SITES:
Sources: New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, http://www.hudson-ny.org/1423/iran-sakineh-mohammadi-ashtiani-stoning
Music: Lisa Gerrard from the soundtrack for the movie "Gladiator."
Images: Contains images from the movie "The Stoning of Soraya M."
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own the music or any images in this video.