Brazil President offers asylum to potential Iran stoning victim Ashtiani

August 2nd, 2010 - 2:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 2, (ANI): Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has offered asylum to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for ‘adultery’.

This move has raised hopes that she might be spared by Iran.

“If my friendship with the president of Iran and the regard I hold him in is worth something, if this woman is causing discomfort, then we will willingly receive her here,” Lula said.

“I find myself imagining what would happen if one day there was a country in the world that would stone a man because he was cheating. Nothing justifies the state taking someone’s life. Only God gives life and only he should take it away,” he added.

Lula’s intervention ended weeks of Iranian media blackout over Ashtiani. Fars News Agency, the mouthpiece of the regime reported Lula’s offer and for the first time said Ashtiani was sentenced to death by ’stoning for adultery’. Usually it censors the word ’stoning’.

Lula’s offer has raised hopes of Ashtiani release among, especially among her gamily members.

“I don’t think Iran can ignore Brazil as easily as it ignored other countries. It is very important that Brazil, as one of Iran’s most significant allies in the world, has offered a haven for my mother,” Ashtiani’s son, Sajad said.

He also hoped that Turkey, which also has a lot of influence on Tehran, would join Brazil and raise its voice for his mother’s release. He believes that these two countries can play a crucial role in the case.

Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, was convicted in 2006 of having an “illicit relationship” with two men and received 99 lashes. A court later amended the conviction to “adultery while being married” and sentenced her to death by stoning. (ANI)

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