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#IRAN: Judiciary official: #Sakineh Ashtiani to be stoned for murder, not just adultery LA Times #freeiran #humanrights

July 12, 2010

…”But on Sunday, Malek Ejdar Sharifi, head of East Azerbaijan Province’s judiciary, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency (in Persian): “Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has no been convicted of illicit sex only,” he said. “”She has been found guilty of numerous and extremely heavy offenses. She was sentenced to capital punishment [in 2006 in the criminal court in Tabriz, the center of the province] for committing murder, manslaughter and adultery.” That’s fresh news. Up until Sharifi’s comments, Iranian officials and her lawyer said she was only convicted of adultery. Her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai, said his client had been convicted of having a hand in her husband’s death but that the charge played no role in the death sentence against her, especially since her children did not want to pursue the murder charge agains their mother. She was handed a 10-year sentence for the murder, her lawyer said”In the first place, the allegation was murder,” the lawyer told Babylon &
Beyond. “She was accused of killing her husband, but as her children forgave her … she was pardoned and there was no more allegation against her. But to complicate the case, the court raised the issue of adultery.” Sharifi declined to outline Ashtiani’s role in her husband’s death, saying it would be just too darn shocking for the public”We can’t express the details of her crimes due to moral and humane considerations,” he said. “If the way her husband has been murdered is expressed, the brutality and insanity of this woman would be laid bare to public opinion. Her contribution to the murder of her husband was so harsh and heart-breaking that many criminologists believe that it would have been better for her to have decapitated her husband. Sharifi confirmed that the death sentence against Ashtiani is under review but said the decision to hold off on the execution had nothing to do with the negative light the case has shined on Iran’s legal system….”

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