French rally to show support for Iran stoning mother

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Around 1,000 people rallied in Paris on Sunday to show support for Iranian mother-of-two Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who is facing execution by stoning, an AFP correspondent reported.

Celebrities such as singer Jane Birkin and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy as well as political leaders attended the rally on the central Place de la Republique.

"Other women are at risk of stoning, but Sakineh has become a symbol despite herself," Levy told the crowd.

"If we save this innocent person, we will help to save all the other women who are waiting in the corridors of death, and we will avenge those who have been stoned to death or burned alive."

Iranian authorities last week said that the sentence against 43-year-old Mohammadi-Ashtiani to death by stoning for adultery had been suspended since July.

She has also received a 10-year jail term for participating in her husband's murder.

Rights groups and increasingly Western leaders have criticised the sentencing.

© 2010 AFP

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