Sakineh Ashtiani

An incredible 33,317 of us have donated to our emergency ad campaign to get justice for Sakineh Ashtiani. We hit our target within just 12 hours and ran full page ads in some of the largest newspapers in Brazil and Turkey, as well as online advertizing, within 72 hours. The print ads (at right) depict Prime Minister Erdogan and President Lula holding a picture of Sakineh, with the title: “Her Life is in Your Hands”.  

The response was immediate. With Brazilian President Lula already offering Sakineh asylum, our biggest focus has been on getting Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to weigh in. Turkish media carried the story in dozens of places in print and TV news, with one top Turkish journalist even writing in to Avaaz to thank us for our effort.


Avaaz members in Turkey and Brazil have sent over 50,000 personal messages to Lula and Erdogan in the last few days, and members in Turkey have written in saying our campaign is all over television. The result has been incredible: press reports yesterday say Erdogan has actually tasked his government to pursue “intense telephone diplomacy” with Iran on Sakineh’s behalf, and Lula has also strengthened his position. Our appeal is working!

So far, Iran has responded by changing tack. International pressure appears to have saved Sakineh from being stoned for adultery, but now the regime says it now plans to hang her for murdering her husband – a charge against her that was officially dropped 4 years ago. Last week, they aired a blurry and barely audible confession from Sakineh on national television. Sakineh’s lawyer says the confession was forced after 2 days of torture.

As awful as the situation looks, the fact that the regime is going to the trouble of airing the case on national television shows how seriously our call for justice has resonated. And we know the pressure is working beyond Sakineh — last week Iran rapidly carried out judicial reviews and commuted other stoning sentences to hanging and lashes for a 25 and 19 year woman. And while Iranian domestic opinion might be influenced by such tactics, Iran now knows without doubt that it is harming its relationship with two of its only remaining allies, Turkey and Brazil, by denying Sakineh justice. At this point, they must want this case to go away.

Sakineh’s whole trial was a travesty of justice by any standard, including Iran’s. If we keep up the pressure, there is still a chance to invalidate her death sentence — the court is due to make a decision this Wednesday about whether to pursue the murder charge – and there is no doubt that their decision will be a political one.

Let’s flood Iranian embassies all over the world with phone calls, voice messages, even visits. They will report all contacts to Tehran, which will get a sense of the strength of global concern. Iran’s leaders claim that the campaign for Sakineh is a western crusade, but the Avaaz community is spread across the world — we can show them that this is no western crusade against Iran, but a global campaign for justice. Below this email is a list of phone numbers for embassies in each country. Scroll down to read it, and take 2 minutes to make a phone call.

Together we’ve helped Sakineh move from being another quiet victim of an archaic punishment to a symbol in the fight for justice that even Iran’s most powerful leaders must contend with. The outlook for Sakineh is still grave, but it is in the darkest hour that hope has its greatest power. We’ve signed the petition and donated to the ad campaign. Now let’s get on our phones. Scroll down for the numbers.

With hope,

Ricken, Paula, Graziela, Pascal, Emma, Rewan, Ben, Alice and the whole Avaaz team.

Here’s the list of numbers numbers (international codes and alternative numbers in brackets):

Australia (+61) 02 62907000
Austria: (+43) (0)1 712 2650
Belgium:(+32) 02 762 3745 (2 762 3771)
Brazil: (61) 3242-5733 (3242-5124 / 3242-5874)
Canada: (613) 235 4726
Denmark: (+39) 1 60071
Finland: (+358) 9 6845391
France: (01) 4069 7900 (4069 7971)
Germany: (+49) (0)30 84353399
Greece: (+30) 210 674 1436
India: (+91) 11- 332 9600 (332 9601 / 332 9602 / 332 0491)
Ireland: (+353) 1 188 5881 (288 0252 / 288 2967)
Italy: (+39) 06 863 28485 (8632 8486)
Japan: (+81) 3-3446-8011
Mexico: (+52) 55 9172 2699
New Zealand: (+64) 4 386 2976
Norway:(+47) 22 552 409
Portugal: (+ 351) 1 304 1850
South Africa: (+27) 12 342 5881
Spain: (+ 34) 91 345 01 12 (91 345 0116 / 91 345 0652)
Sweden: (+46) 8 765 0829 (765 3174 / 767 7929)
Switzerland: (+41) (0)31 351 0801 (351 0802)
Turkey: (+90) 312- 468 2821
UK: (+ 44) (20) 7 225 3000 – switchboard
USA: (+1) (202) 965-4990

If you can’t see your country in the list, you can find a full list here:

If they stop picking up the phone — don’t despair – it means they are getting the message — let’s keep the phones ringing off the hook. If you’re unsure of what to say when you call, don’t worry, the call itself is the most important thing. Substantively, you might consider 3 simple points:
You’re relieved that Iran has invalidated Sakineh’s sentence of stoning for adultery, and urge the government to ensure stoning is banned throughout Iran.

You’re concerned that Sakineh has been denied a fair trial and justice in the murder charge against her, particularly given this charge has already been dismissed. You call on the Iranian authorities to release Sakineh.

You urge the government to set an example by ensuring fairness and justice in this and other cases, and take further steps to ensure that, under Iranian law, no one can be executed on charges of adultery, whether by stoning or any other means.

Support the Avaaz community! We’re entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way — donate here. is a 5.5-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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To contact Avaaz write to us at or call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US).



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