Last updated: 13 July, 2011

Iran ‘stoning woman’ attends mother’s funeral

A woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran is in “perfect health” and has been allowed to attend her mother’s funeral, a justice official told IRNA state news agency on Wednesday.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani “is in prison in perfect health… and like all inmates enjoys her full rights as a prisoner,” IRNA quoted Malek Ajdar Sharifi, head of East Azarbaijan province’s justice department, as saying.

Sharifi added Mohammadi Ashtiani “meets with her family members regularly in accordance with regulations and in recent days she was given leave to attend her mother’s funeral.”

The official did not elaborate on when and for how long Mohammadi Ashtiani was granted leave.

In January, she appeared before a group of journalists working for international news networks during what judiciary officials called an “out of prison” visit to her family.

Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death by two different courts in the northwestern Tabriz, the capital of East Azarbaijan province, 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 die by stoning, was on a charge of adultery levelled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband’s murder.

The stoning sentence was upheld by another appeals court the same year, in a case that drew widespread international condemnation.

Sharifi also said that Mohammadi Ashtiani’s “case is taking its natural course in the courts and that no change has occured in her case.”

Speaking earlier this year, Sharifi had said “anything is possible,” when asked by Fars news agency whether Mohammadi Ashtiani’s sentence for adultery could be overturned.