US demands Iran stop adultery execution
The White House on Tuesday urged Iran to halt the reportedly imminent execution of a mother-of-two for adultery, saying the case showed the regime's "fundamental disregard for human rights."
"We condemn in the strongest terms the government of Iran's apparent plans to move forward in executing Ms. Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani," a White House statement said.
"We call on the government of Iran to stop this execution, and provide Ms. Ashtiani with the due process and fair treatment she deserves," it said.
"The lack of transparency and due process in Ms. Ashtiani's case, and the subsequent actions taken against her lawyer and family, are unacceptable," it said.
The White House said the case "demonstrates the government of Iran's fundamental disregard for human rights, including those of women."
A French human rights group and exiled Iranian activist Mina Ahadi have voiced fear that Ashtiani could be executed as early as Wednesday.
The case drew an international outcry after it emerged she would be stoned to death.
Since July, Iran has repeatedly said that the stoning sentence has been stayed pending a final decision and it was unclear how any execution would be carried out.
The United States is the only major Western nation to practice the death penalty but has said in response to Ashtiani's case that it does not believe adultery should be a capital offense.
© 2010 AFP