Iran says stoning woman still in jail, quashes rumour

An Iranian woman sentenced to stoning has not been freed, a prosecutor said on Friday, calling a rumour of her release a "lie".

Iran says stoning woman still in jail, quashes rumour

An Iranian woman sentenced to stoning has not been freed, a prosecutor said on Friday, calling a rumour of her release a "lie".

"Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is in detention and any news based on her release from the Tabriz prison is a sheer lie," Moussa Khalilolahi, prosecutor in the city of Tabriz, northwestern Iran, told the official IRNA news agency.

"No change has been made to her legal status ... The file is following its normal and legal procedures," he said.

Ashtiani's sentence to be stoned for adultery -- the only crime which carries that penalty under Iran's Islamic sharia law -- was suspended.

She still faces possible execution by hanging for complicity in the murder of her husband.

Talk of Ashtiani's release appears to have been sparked by photographs of her at home released to the international media on Thursday by state-run Press TV ahead of an interview with her to be broadcast later on Friday.

Rumours spread quickly on the Internet, with thousands of messages appearing on the Twitter website after the International Committee Against Stoning, based in Germany, said "sources in Iran" had word of her freedom.

But Press TV later said that instead of showing her freedom, its documentary shows Ashtiani at home describing the murder of her husband. The programme will be aired at midnight (2030 GMT) on Friday.

"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 on its website.

Press TV said Ashtiani had confessed and been found guilty of murdering her husband in collusion with her lover.

Tehran says international media have manipulated the story to demonise the Islamic Republic.


Agencies

Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2010, 18:13
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