Iranian woman, to be stoned to death, may get hanged

December 26th, 2011 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 26 (IANS) A woman, who was to be stoned to death in Iran for adultery, might get some ‘relief’ as authorities have hinted she might now be sentenced to death by hanging.

Authorities said Monday they were moving ahead with plans to execute the woman but are reconsidering what punishment to carry out, the Daily Mail reported.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is already serving a ten-year sentence on a separate conviction for murdering her husband. She is jailed in east Azerbaijan province.

As her case generated international outrage, last July Iranian officials suspended plans to carry out her death sentence on the adultery conviction.

Experts are now studying whether the punishment of stoning can be changed to hanging, said a senior judiciary official.

Malek Ajdar Sharifi, the head of justice department of East Azerbaijan province, said: “There is no haste. … We are waiting to see whether we can carry out the execution of a person sentenced to stoning by hanging or not.”

“As soon as the result (of the investigation) is obtained, we will carry out the sentence.”

Chief of Judiciary ordered a halt to stoning in order to allow Islamic experts to investigate whether the punishment could be altered in Ashtiani’s case, he said.

According to Ashtiani’s lawyer, she was allegedly beaten and sold for sex by opium-addict Ebrahim Ghaderzade. She was jailed for ten years for murder and sentenced to death for adultery.

She was also convicted of having illicit relations for which she received 99 lashes, the lawyer added.

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