Iran Human RightsWoman in stoning sentence 'confesses'

Woman in stoning sentence ‘confesses’


Scotland on Sunday: An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery confessed on state television to helping a man kill her husband.

Scotland on Sunday

By Ali Akbar Dareini and Kim Gamel
in Tehran

AN IRANIAN woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery confessed on state television to helping a man kill her husband.

Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani also re-enacted the alleged crime in the interview released by the government in an apparent bid to deflect international criticism over the case.

Friday’s broadcast was the fourth time she has appeared on TV, but the first time her face has been shown.

Authorities announced her conviction only after uproar over the sentence erupted last summer.

Her lawyer, who has since been arrested, said she was never formally tried for the killing and was tortured into confessing. Iranian authorities could use the murder charge to justify executing Ashtiani by hanging instead of stoning.

In the new footage, broadcast on English-language Press TV, the 43-year-old mother-of-two was brought from the prison to her home outside Tabriz in north western Iran.

She was shown acting out the alleged December 2005 killing, with an actor portraying her husband.

Ashtiani, dressed in black with a beige scarf covering her hair, described how she began an affair with another man, identified as Isa Taheri. She claimed to have given her husband an injection which rendered him unconscious, then Taheri electrocuted him.

Amnesty International criticised the broadcast, saying it violated international standards for a fair trial by having Ashtiani implicate herself in a crime.

Philip Luther, deputy director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Program, said: “If the authorities are seeking to use this ‘confession’ to try to construct a new case against her, for a crime that she’s already been tried and sentenced for, we would condemn this in the strongest terms.”

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