French comedian pleading for stoning woman leaving Tehran

15th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Controversial French comic Dieudonne was set to leave for Paris early Thursday, following a visit to Tehran to plead for clemency in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

The comedian did not wish to make any statement or provide details of his visit, which was overlooked by the Iranian media.

Members of his delegation told AFP only that a meeting had taken place at Iran's justice ministry, and that details of his visit would be made public at a news conference in Paris.

Dieudonne told French media before his visit to Tehran that he would ask President Mahmoud 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.

The anti-Zionist comedian has in past been warmly received by the fiercely anti-Israeli Ahmadinejad, but it was not known which Iranian officials he had been able to meet during his visit.

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

Paris had 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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