Iranian 'adulteress' not executed as feared: activist

3rd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery was not executed on Wednesday as had been feared, but she remains in danger, an Iranian activist told AFP, citing unnamed sources in Iran.

"Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani was not executed today," exiled human rights activist Mina Ahadi from the International Committee Against Stoning told AFP by phone in Germany, where she lives.

"Execution time (for the day) has now passed, so it won't happen today (Wednesday). But the danger remains and it could still happen at any time."

Ahadi and French human rights activists had voiced fears on Tuesday that the mother-of-two, 43, could be executed as early as Wednesday, prompting concern from the European Union and the United States.

A first death sentence, by hanging, for her involvement in the murder of her husband, was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an appeals court in 2007.

But a second, by stoning, was on a charge of adultery levelled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband's murder, and was upheld by another appeals court the same year.

Since July, Iran has repeatedly said that the stoning sentence has been stayed pending a final decision, amid international outcry over the case.

Mohammadi-Ashtiani's son Sajjad Ghaderzadeh and lawyer were arrested in Iran last month, as were two German nationals, reportedly while interviewing the son. The Germans were granted consular access in late October.

© 2010 AFP

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