Iranian ’stoning to death’ widow says false sentence due to her being a woman

August 7th, 2010 - 4:52 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 7 (ANI): Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to death by stoning, has accused Tehran of lying about the charges against her to pave the way to execute her in secret.

Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery but it was commuted to hanging after an international outcry.

Her initial sentence was for “having an illicit relationship outside marriage”, but Iranian officials have claimed that she was also found guilty of murdering her husband and should still face death by stoning.

In an exclusive interview to The Guardian, which took place through an intermediary who cannot be named for security reasons, she said: “They’re lying. They are embarrassed by the international attention on my case and they are desperately trying to distract attention and confuse the media so that they can kill me in secret.”

On Friday, senior Iranian judicial official Mossadegh Kahnemoui told the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: “This lady, in addition to double adultery, is also found guilty of conspiracy to murder her husband.”

Mohammadi Ashtiani said: “I was found guilty of adultery and was acquitted of murder, but the man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned but he is not sentenced to death.”

The accused, who has not been named, is not facing execution because Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son pardoned him, but she was sentenced to death after a local prosecutor in Tabriz accused her of adultery, The Guardian reports.

“The answer is quite simple, it’s because I’m a woman, it’s because they think they can do anything to women in this country. It’s because for them adultery is worse than murder - but not all kinds of adultery: An adulterous man might not even be imprisoned but an adulterous women is the end of the world for them.

“It’s because I’m in a country where its women do not have the right to divorce their husbands and are deprived of their basic rights,” said Mohammadi Ashtiani. (ANI)

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