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Letter to Iran’s ambassador in Paris

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani must be given clemency and set free.

Published 27 August 2010

ACDN wrote on 16 August to Iran’s ambassador in Paris. Now that ten days have passed without a reply coming, we are publishing our letter and inviting our readers to write to Iran’s ambassador in Paris (contact details below) by whatever means they choose - letter, email or fax - and to inform us that they have done so.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani must be saved. Stoning, which is barbarous method of capital punishment, must be banned in Iran and all other countries. So must torture and indeed capital punishment itself, whatever method has been used; they must be banned everywhere, in China, in Russia, in the USA, everywhere. Fundamental human rights, which include the right to a fair trial satisfying international standards of justice, must be respected, in Iran, in Israel and everywhere else.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has intervened in favour of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. We call on him to intervene also with the Israeli authorities to seek the liberation of Salah Hamouri and to obtain for Mordecai Vanunu the right to leave Israel - Vanunu has just completed another prison sentence (see our Letter to Israel’s ambassador in Paris).

As for nuclear arms, "barbarous weapons" (the words are from President Mitterrand) if ever there were must be banned and abolished as quickly as possible, including France’s nuclear arms. We ask the President Sarkozy to stop viewing "nuclear deterrence as the Nation’s life-insurance" and to abandon the claim that France’s security depends on the use of barbarous weapons and on the threat of using them.

Barbarism has many faces. It must be opposed both at home and abroad.

Letter from Jean-Marie Matagne,


- Ambassade de la République Islamique d’Iran
- 4, Avenue d’Iéna
- 75116 Paris
- Fax : 01 40 70 01 57
- cabinet@mfa.gov.ir

Subject: the fate of Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.


ACDN (Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire) which I have the honour of chairing, has several times demonstrated its respect for the Iranian people. We have shown an openness to dialogue with the authorities that represent it, although we do not at all share the convictions of the Islamic government. Adhering as we do to the secular principles called in French laïcité, we reject all theocratic regimes.

In 2006 and 2008 when we organised in Saintes the 2nd and 3rd RID-NBC (Rallies for International Disarmament, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) we invited various ambassadors concerned with the topic, including your predecessors Mr Seyed Ali Moujani in 2006 and Mr Ali Ahani in 2008. Both of them came and took part, and we confirmed our invitation to Mr Ali Ahani in spite of being under strong pressure to withdraw it.

I personally was co-signatory with Michel Rocard, former PM of France, and Yehuda Atai, (co-founder of the Israeli Committee for a Middle East without weapons of mass destruction) of an Appeal to Europeans to Prevent War with Iran which was published in Libération on 16 November 2007, and which received support from numerous international personalities.

Our concern to hear the viewpoints of all parties in person and to contribute to a peaceful solution to international conflicts has not prevented us - when there was an opportunity , either in Saintes or at Iran’s embassy in Paris - from telling your predecessors that we condemn the unacceptable state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular the infringements of rights of women, homosexuals, and political opponents of the regime.

It is for this reason, today, that I beg you to intervene urgently with your government and to ask it to annul the capital conviction and the sentence of stoning passed on your fellow-citizen Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Such barbarous methods can only alienate definitively those who are trying to show understanding towards the Islamic regime.

Yours respectfully,

Jean-Marie Matagne, president of ACDN
- Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire
- 31 Rue du Cormier
- 17100 Saintes (FRANCE)