Controversial French comic hoping to save Iran stoning woman

13th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Controversial French comic Dieudonne arrived in Tehran on Monday planning to plead for clemency in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

The anti-Zionist comedian has in past been warmly received by the fiercely anti-Israeli President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but it was not known which Iranian officials he would meet during his two-day visit, his assistant told AFP.

Dieudonne told French media last week he would ask Ahmadinejad for clemency for Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, whose stoning sentence was halted in July by the authorities amid an international outcry.

France has been vocal in its demand for Mohammadi-Ashtiani's life to be spared, but has distanced itself from Dieudonne's efforts and has "doubted the sincerity" of his act.

Paris said the comedian, who has been condemned in France on several occasions for anti-Semitism, "is not at all mandated by the French authorities" and that his visit would not be aided by the French embassy in Tehran.

Iran has dismissed all international appeals to release Mohammadi-Ashtiani, and maintains that a final decision regarding her case is still pending.

© 2010 AFP

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