Reuters: An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning has not been released, state-run Press TV said on Friday, denying a report by a European human rights group which quoted “sources in Iran” as saying she had been freed.
TEHRAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) – An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning has not been released, state-run Press TV said on Friday, denying a report by a European human rights group which quoted “sources in Iran” as saying she had been freed.
Press TV said on its website that “contrary to a vast publicity campaign by Western media that confessed murderer Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been released”, she was still in custody.
Press TV said it had made a film of Ashtiani describing the killing of her husband, which is to be screened later on Friday.
The film appears to have been the source of rumours of her release, as publicity photographs released to the international media showed Ashtiani in her garden with her son.
Far from showing her release, the film will show a reconstruction of the alleged murder — a crime for which Ashtiani could be hanged.
“Press TV … arranged with Iran’s judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual recount of the crime at the murder scene,” it said.
The rumour of her release spread quickly on the Internet, with thousands of joyful messages appearing on the Twitter website after the International Committee Against Stoning, based in Germany, said it had word of her release.
Ashtiani’s sentence of death by stoning for adultery — the only crime which carries that penalty under Iran’s Islamic law — was suspended after an international outcry by both Western countries and some that have warm relations with Iran.
Brazil offered Ashtiani asylum.
But she still faces possible death by hanging for complicity in her husband’s murder. (Reporting by Robin Pomeroy, editing by Tim Pearce)