Iran suspends execution sentence over outcry
Monday 17 January 2011
Iran has suspended a sentence to hang a woman at the centre of a global outcry about stoning, a member of parliament was quoted as saying today.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's sentence to be stoned for adultery was suspended last year after condemnation from several governments, but she had still faced death by hanging for being an accomplice in her husband's murder.
In a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the head of parliament's human rights committee, Zohre Elahian, said the hanging, too, had been suspended due to pleas from her children.
"Although the stoning sentence has not been finalised yet, the hanging sentence has been suspended due to (her children's) pardon," the letter said, according to student news agency ISNA.
Ashtiani has been sentenced to 10 years' jail, Elahian said. She was arrested in 2006.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva offered Ashtiani asylum in July, prompting an embarrassing public rejection by Iran which said he was a "humane and sensitive character" but was not in possession of all the facts.
Brazil has warm ties with Iran and attempted to broker a nuclear deal last year which was rejected by the West.
Two reporters for German weekly Bild am Sonntag have been detained in Iran since October when they were arrested for interviewing Ashtiani's son without official permission, highlighting the sensitivity of the case.
Under Islamic law in force in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, adultery may be punished by death by stoning and crimes such as murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are all punishable by hanging.
The case has further worsened relations between Iran and the West, already strained by the nuclear issue. Western countries fear Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, which it denies.
Amnesty International says Iran is the world's second most prolific executioner after China, putting to death at least 346 people in 2008.
The Iranian authorities dismiss allegations of rights abuses, saying they are following Islamic law.
Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
Coroners must send bodies for scans rather than autopsies if religion demands they stay intact, High Court rules
Helen Mirren is horrified after swearing on live TV when describing camping trip with Liam Neeson
Obese people who refuse to lose weight could see benefits cut, David Cameron to announce
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
- 1 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 2 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 3 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 4 Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
- 5 What TripAdvisor users think of 16 of the world's most popular landmarks
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...
£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...
£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join the ho...