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Iranian woman could be stoned to death in Iran: Report

An Iranian woman faces the possibility of being stoned to death on accusation of adultery, and human rights groups are pushing for an international campaign to prevent the execution.



New York: An Iranian woman faces the
possibility of being stoned to death on accusation of
adultery, and human rights groups are pushing for an
international campaign to prevent the execution.

Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, who is
from the northern Iranian city of Tabriz, was convicted of
adultery in 2006.
But human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei said she
was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes,
according to CNN.

Mostafaei said Ashitani had later retracted her
confession.

"Legally it`s all over," said Mina Ahadi, head of the
International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty.

"It`s a done deal. Sakineh can be stoned at any
minute," she said.

Ashitani, if executed, will be buried up to her chest
and stones will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause
pain but not so large as to kill her immediately, according to
an Amnesty International report on the practice.

Mostafaei said her conviction was based not on
evidence but on the determination of three out of five judges.

She has asked forgiveness from the court but the
judges refused to grant clemency.

Iran`s Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 2007.
Ahadi, who fled Iran in the early 1980s, told CNN that
pressure from Amnesty and other organisations and individuals
seems the only way to save Ashtiani.

"Experience shows (that)... when the pressure gets
very high, the Islamic government starts to say something
different," she said.

Ahadi noted that Article 74 of the Iranian penal code
requires at least four witnesses -- four men or three men and
two women -- for an adulterer to receive a stoning sentence
but there were no witnesses in Ashtiani`s case.

The son and daughter of Ashitani have also written to
Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop
the execution because claiming their mother`s innocence.

The US has also criticised the scheduled stoning.

"We have grave concerns that the punishment does not
fit the alleged crime," said Assistant Secretary of State P J
Crowley.

"For a modern society such as Iran, we think this
raises significant human rights concerns".

Amnesty International finds that women are more
frequent targets of stoning.

Ahadi also pointed out that husbands turn wives in to
get out of a marriage.

PTI

From Zee News

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