Earlier this morning, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has not been freed and that any reports that were making the rounds in the international media yesterday were false.
Iran has also confirmed that Ashtiani has not been released.
Speculation of Ashtiani’s release was triggered when photographs of her at home were posted on Press TV’s website. Press TV has now confirmed that these photographs were indeed part of a documentary that will be airing which aims to recreate the crime scene where Ashtiani allegedly plotted to murder her husband.
Philip Luthor, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme stated,
It appears that the Iranian authorities are using the Iranian media as a tool to portray her as a dangerous criminal who deserves to be executed. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani must not be executed by any means, and if she continues to be held solely on the grounds of consensual sexual relations, the Iranian authorities must release her.
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Original Report from December 9 2010:
Though recently emerging photos of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, appear to depict her comfortably at home and implied her release from prison, Iran has yet to provide confirmation.
The pictures show Ashtiani at home with her son, but footage later broadcast by the state-run Press TV told a different story—one that The Guardian suggests implies that Iranian authorities brought her home to collect a confession. In the clip released, she can be seen to say, “We planned to kill my husband.”
Ashtiani’s stoning sentence sparked international outcry earlier this year, thanks to the campaigning efforts of her son Sajad.
Mina Ahadi, a member of the International Committee against Stoning, said “I’m very happy for her son Sajad, who fought single-handedly and bravely in Iran to defend his mother and tell the world that she is innocent. I’m sure that this day will be written in Iranian history books, if not the world’s, as a day of victory for human rights campaigners.” We hope she’s right.
Photo of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her son Sajad from Press TV (Iran).