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10.7.10

http://gdb.rferl.org/D7A2CAF5-D1A2-44A4-AC07-CFEDDAFED06D_mw800_mh600_s.jpgThe government of Iran has indicated that an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning has had her punishment revoked, though she may still be executed through means other than stoning.

Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani was accused of adultery in 2006 and, upon receiving 99 lashes, confessed to the charges, although she later recanted that confession but sought the forgiveness of the court nonetheless.

Iran the Forgotten Glory: An Awe-inspiring Journey into the Majesty and Splendour of Ancient PersiaOut of a panel of five judges, four were un-swayed and she was sentenced to be stoned to death, a rare yet imminently barbaric practice that remains a legal form of punishment for a range of crimes, including adultery, in several countries in Asia and the Middle East.

The sentence was quickly condemned by the international community with spokespeople for various world leaders calling on Iran to review the 42-year-old Ashtiani's sentence.

Her son, Sajjad Ashtiani, has written letters to politicians in Tehran and travelled to the Iranian capital six times to seek an audience with officials to plead his mother's defense and finally Iran's government has spoken publicly about the case for the first time.

A statement released by Iran's embassy in London said that, "according to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran, she will not be executed by stoning punishment" and called reports to the contrary "false news".

http://www.seanax.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Stoning-of-Soraya1.jpgBut, London-based Drewery Dyke of Amnesty International remains concerned; he said that the Iranian courts may simply commute her sentence to hanging instead of stoning.

Universal Human Rights in Theory and PracticeMina Ahadi, a human rights activist and head of the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty, has said that only a concerted effort by world governments can now save Ashtiani as "Legally, it's all over".

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