TEHRAN (AFP) – There is a “good chance” that the life of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery could be spared, the head of Iran’s High Human Rights Council said in an interview aired on Monday.
“Our judiciary made a lot of efforts (in reviewing the case) and we think there is a good chance her life could be saved,” Mohammed Javad Larijani told Iran’s English-language Press TV.
Larijani, who was speaking in English, did not give details of the judiciary’s review of the Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani case or the basis of his optimism that her life would be spared.
His council works under the judiciary’s auspices.
The sentence handed down against Mohammadi-Ashtiani sparked international outrage and diplomatic intervention by several Western governments as well as the Vatican.
In July, Tehran said that the sentence to death by stoning had been stayed pending a full review of her case.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, was initially given death sentences by two different courts in the northwestern city of Tabriz 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 death by stoning on charges of adultery levelled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband’s murder, was upheld by another appeals court the same year.