Iran says woman sentenced to stoning may be spared

November 23, 2010 18:37

Press TV reports that following international outcry, the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani "could be saved."

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Protesters against the stoning

Iran stoning protest. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

TEHERAN, Iran  — Iranian state television has reported that the woman sentenced to death by stoning on an adultery conviction will likely be spared from execution.

The stoning sentence against 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani drew an international outcry. It was then put on hold and is now being reviewed by Iran's Supreme Court.

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English-language Press TV on Monday night quoted Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, as saying: "We think there is a good chance that her life could be saved."

The outcry over the case is one of the latest thorns in Iran's relationship with the international community, as the US, EU and international human rights groups have urged Teheran to stay the execution.

Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of having an "illicit relationship" with two men after the murder of her husband the year before and was sentenced at that time to 99 lashes.

Later that year, she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, even though she retracted a confession that she says was made under duress. Ashtiani has also been convicted of involvement in the death of her husband, whom Iranian prosecutors say was murdered. She could still face execution by hanging in the two cases.

Her family and lawyer have said in the past that Ashtiani was tortured while in custody.

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