AFP: European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran on Tuesday to stop the execution of three people including a woman who faces death by stoning for adultery.
BRUSSELS, July 6, 2010 (AFP) – European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran on Tuesday to stop the execution of three people including a woman who faces death by stoning for adultery.
Ashton said she was “deeply concerned” about reports that the executions of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who was sentenced to hang for a murder he committed when he was a minor, and the woman, Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, “may be imminent.”
She also renewed her call for Iran to drop the death sentence against Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurd who awaits execution for being an “enemy of God.”
“I call on Iran to halt these executions and convert the sentences,” Ashton said in a statement.
She called death by stoning “a particularly cruel method of execution which amounts to torture.”
The sentences against Haddadi and Mohammadi-Ashtiani are in “clear violation” of Iran’s international obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Ashton urged Iran to consider a moratorium on executions.
Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain public security and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.