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Woman facing stoning unaware of lash reports: Iran official

world Updated: Sep 08, 2010 22:26 IST

The Iranian woman facing death by stoning has expressed surprise over reports that she was lashed after a British newspaper published a picture showing her without a headscarf, a judiciary official who says he met her told Fars news agency on Wednesday.

Fars reported that Vahid Kazemzadeh, member of the Iranian judiciary's Islamic Human Rights Commission, said he met Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who told him that she has also complained against her lawyer Mohammad Mostafaie whom she never met.

"She was unaware and surprised by reports of (receiving) lashes after a British newspaper printed a picture which was not hers and had mistakenly mentioned her name under it," Kazemzadeh said.

Mohammadi-Ashtiani's son, Sajjad, told a Paris news conference by telephone on Monday that he "heard" his 43-year-old mother received 99 lashes in prison after The Times of London published on August 28 a picture claiming to be of Mohammadi-Ashtiani and showing her hair unveiled.

By law, women in the Islamic republic must be covered from head to foot, with their hair completely veiled.

Kazemzadeh said Mohammadi-Ashtiani also claims that she never met Mostafaie personally, who she had appointed as her lawyer through another woman.

"Ms Ashtiani claims she has never met Mr Mohammad Mostafaie, the lawyer who has tarnished her and her family's reputation... by conducting interviews and spreading news without her consent," Kazemzadeh said.

He said that she claimed having paid Mostafaie 20 million rials (USD 2,000) to represent her but he left the country.