Friday, July 9, 2010

Iran backs down: World fury forces Tehran to spare 'adulterous' mother from being stoned - but will they hang her instead?

A woman convicted of adultery has been spared execution by stoning after Iran backed down in the face of rising international outrage.

A statement issued by the Iranian embassy in London said that 'according to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran [Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani] will not be executed by stoning'.

But it did not say whether Ms Ashtiani, a mother-of-two, would be spared or executed by hanging instead.
Mohammed Mostafaei, the 43-year-old's lawyer, told The Times: 'This is a positive development but nothing is clear yet.
'There have been cases in Iran of stonings being changed to hangings.
'We have to wait and see what happens.'
Ahmad Fatemi, of the International Committee against Stoning and Execution, which has campaigned for her release, said: 'It's a tactical retreat... they never expected this kind of pressure, so they want to buy time.'

British politicians have been lending their support to efforts to stop the stoning as the international outcry increased.

Foreign Minister William Hague described stoning as a 'medieval punishment that has no place in the modern world', adding: 'If the punishment is carried out it will disgust and appal the watching world.'

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