x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Iran TV denies stoning sentence woman freed

Iranian media has denied reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman whose sentence to death by stoning for adultery sparked an outcry, has been freed from jail.

TEHRAN // Iran's English-language Press TV on Friday denied reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman whose sentence to death by stoning for adultery had sparked an outcry, has been freed from jail.

A German-based campaign group said late on Thursday that Mohammadi Ashtiani had been released along with her son and lawyer after photographs of her on home leave appeared in the media.

"Contrary to a vast publicity campaign by Western media that confessed murderer Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been released, a broadcast production team with the Iran-based Press TV has arranged with Iran's judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual recount of the crime at the murder scene," Press TV said on its website.

The channel said it would air the program, which includes interviews with people involved in the case including her son and her lawyer, at 2035 GMT on Friday.

Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, was sentenced to death by two different courts in the north-western city of Tabriz in separate trials in 2006.

A sentence to hang for her involvement in the murder of her husband was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an appeals court in 2007.

But a second sentence to death by stoning on charges of adultery leveled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband's murder, was upheld by another appeals court the same year.

Sakineh's current lawyer, Javid Houtan Kian, was arrested in the northwestern city of Tabriz in September along with two Germans who were conducting an interview with her son.

The Germans entered Iran on tourist visas and worked for the Bild am Sonntag Sunday newspaper.