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Iran to air new footage of woman in stoning case

world Updated: Dec 10, 2010 20:19 IST

AP
Highlight Story

Iran's state TV said on Friday it will air new footage of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, the latest in state-orchestrated broadcasts on a case that has raised an international outcry.

The English-language Press TV said the footage will be aired late on Friday and that it will show Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani at her home in northwestern Iran, recounting her alleged crimes and details of her husband's murder. After international criticism erupted over the adultery sentence, Iranian officials announced that Ashtiani had also been convicted in the killing.

With a series of broadcasts, Iran has appeared to try to deflect criticism on the case by accusing the West of stirring up controversy to damage Iran's Islamic leadership.

The TV said the 43-year-old mother, who remains in prison in the city of Tabriz in, was accompanied by her son, Sajjad Qadezadeh, to her home for the filming of the latest footage. Her son and lawyer, Houtan Kian, were arrested in October, along with two German journalists. The two Germans were detained while trying to interview Ashtiani's family.

Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of having an "illicit relationship" with two men after the murder of her husband the year before and was sentenced at that time to 99 lashes. Later that year, she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, even though she retracted a confession that she says was made under duress.

Iran has put Ashtiani's stoning sentence on hold amid pressure from rights groups, but has said she has also been convicted of involvement in the death of her husband. She could still face execution by hanging in the two cases.

In a purported statement broadcast on Iranian state television last month, Ashtiani called herself a "sinner". In the same footage, Ashtiani's son, Sajjad, retracted his previous allegations that his mother was tortured, and criticised Kian and Ashtiani's previous lawyer - who fled to Norway this summer - for publicising the case.

Kian also said in the footage that he advised Qaderzadeh to lie to Western journalists.