Authorities in Iran have sentenced a woman previously sentenced to death by stoning for adultery to death by hanging for murder, an international human rights organization said.The Tabriz prison has reportedly been given the go-ahead for the execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to take place this Wednesday, Nov 3 said the International Committee against Stoning.
The initial stoning sentence of Ms Ashtiani’s was suspended after international outrage and prominent religious and political persons calling it “medieval, barbaric and brutal”. Brazil, who is otherwise a close ally of Iran, had even offered to give asylum to the mother of two.
In September, an Iranian government spokesman announced the adultery charge against Ashtiani was under review, but that the charge of her being involved in her husband’s murder was still pending.
In August Iranian television aired an interview with a woman said to be Ashtiani, in which she admitted having a relationship with a man other than her husband, and who later murdered the husband. However, the International Committee against Stoning called the interview “toxic propaganda”.
Under Islamic Law, which has been in force in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, adultery is punishable by stoning whereas murder is punished by hanging.
The report of the pending hanging of Ashtiani has neither been confirmed nor denied by Iranian officials.
Alistair Burt, British Foreign Office Minister, is said to have made contact with Iran’s charge d’affaires in London, Safar Ali Eslamian Koupaei: “I … took the opportunity to remind him that the UK government would regard the execution of Ms Ashtiani as utterly unacceptable,” Burt said.