Family of Iranian woman to be stoned refused prison visits

London, Aug.28 (ANI): A lawyer and the family of a Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning, have been denied visits to the prison where she is lodged, her son told the Guardian.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been detained in Tabriz jail since 2006 and was sentenced to death on charges of adultery. She was acquitted of murdering her husband, but Iranian authorities have since accused her of being an accomplice.

Arriving for a prison visit yesterday, her son Sajad, 22 and daughter Saeedeh, 17, were told she was unwilling to see them.

Later, when she was allowed to phone her son, it emerged she had been told by guards that no one had come to visit and that her children had abandoned her, Sajad told the Guardian.

"The officials have become obstinate - they are seeking just different ways to mistreat my mother and us as her children," he said.

Mohammadi Ashtiani's government-appointed lawyer, Houtan Kian, has been unable to visit her since she appeared on TV this month and confessed to involvement in her husband's murder. Human rights campaigners say the confession was made under duress.

Government officials ransacked Kian's house in Tabriz this week and confiscated documents and laptops after breaking down the front door. H

Another defence lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, was forced to flee Iran after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Kian said: "Now it's my turn, but I am not going anywhere. I'm here to defend her 'til the end even if they put me in jail."

He described the stoning sentence as "unbelievably ridiculous", adding that while she had been accused of adultery, her putative lover had not been named. (ANI)

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