June 30, 2010: An Iranian woman convicted of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning.
Sakineh Mohamamadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, was accused of having extramarital relations with two men who ended up killing her husband.
Infidelity is illegal in Iran, and usually punished with lashes and prison time. While the Iranian penal code allows for the death sentence in infidelity cases, execution by stoning is rare.
She has denied any wrongdoing but reportedly asked local authorities for a pardon, stating simply “If I have done any wrong, I repent." The request for clemency was denied.
Ashtiani’s two children, Fasride and Sajjad, 16 and 20 respectively, have been leading the campaign for her release.
Ashtiani's lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaie, claimed her execution is imminent
Experts say infidelity is outlawed in Iran and usually punished with lashes or prison.
Execution is permitted under Iranian law but stoning is rare.
Ashtiani was sent to jail after being sentenced to 99 lashes for having 'illicit relationships'.
"She was then tried for murder and found guilty, and the sentence of death by stoning imposed," the Jerusalem Post reported.
While adultery is punishable by stoning, Iranian human rights advocates point out that murder is punishable by hanging, and suggest that her adultery case was reopened during her murder trial, despite her already having been sentenced.