Britain says Iran stoning execution would be 'unacceptable'

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain told Iran Tuesday that it would view the execution of an Iranian mother convicted of adultery as "utterly unacceptable", amid reports that she could be killed imminently, officials said.

Junior foreign minister Alistair Burt spoke with the Iranian charge d'affairs in London, who was unable to confirm if Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani was due to be killed shortly, a Foreign Office statement said.

"I asked for any information he might have on this to be made available to us, but took the opportunity to remind him that the UK government would regard the execution of Ms. Ashtiani as utterly unacceptable," Burt said.

"It would be an act which would be condemned by us and partners throughout the EU. I hope the world will see a good response from the authorities in Tehran."

Earlier, Burt said he was "deeply disturbed" by reports from human rights activists that Mohammadi-Ashtiani could be killed as early as Wednesday.

"The world watches and waits," he said.

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, faces death by stoning for adultery, notably with a man convicted of her husband's murder, for which she was also found guilty.

Since July, Iranian officials have said repeatedly that the stoning sentence has been stayed, in the face of an international outcry.

© 2010 AFP

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