German detainees in Iran say they were `tricked`

Two Germans arrested in Iran have told state television they were "tricked" into coming to Iran.

Tehran: Two Germans arrested in Iran last
month while trying to interview the son of a woman sentenced
to be stoned to death for adultery have told state television
they were "tricked" into coming to Iran.

According to the Farsi voiceover of the footage aired
last night, the two detainees pointed fingers at Mina Ahadi,
an Iranian human rights activist living in exile in Germany.

Ahadi, founder of the Germany-based International
Committees against Execution and Stoning, has launched a
global campaign to halt the impending execution of Sakineh
Mohammadi-Ashtiani by stoning.

"I did not have any information about this case, but
Ms Ahadi knew about it. She sent me to Iran and has gained
propaganda value from my arrest. I will sue Ms Ahadi when I am
back in Germany," one of the detainees was quoted as saying.

"I accept that I made a mistake. Since I had no
information on the case, I was tricked by Ms Ahadi," the other
German was quoted as saying.

The two Germans, who were arrested in Tabriz in the
northwest of the country October 10, have not been identified.

It was not clear where the footage that was broadcast
had been shot. The two men were shown close-up and looking
healthy.

The television report said the pair were arrested at
the office of Mohammadi-Ashtiani`s lawyer while trying to
interview her son and after taking pictures of Tabriz prison,
were the woman is held.

Mohammadi-Ashtiani`s case, revealed last summer by
human rights associations, has triggered an international
outcry.

She was initially given death sentences by two
different courts in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz in
separate trials in 2006.

A sentence to hang for her involvement in the murder
of her husband was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an
appeals court in 2007.

But a second sentence, to die by stoning on a charge
of adultery levelled over several relationships, notably with
the man convicted of her husband`s murder, was upheld by a
different appeals court the same year.

Iran`s judiciary says a final decision is yet to be
made about the case and that it is now focusing on the murder
conviction of the mother of two rather than adultery
charges.

PTI

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