Iran woman facing stoning to death sentenced to 99 lashes for false picture published by Times

London, Sept 5 (ANI): Iran has reportedly sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43-year-old Iranian woman who faces execution by stoning after being convicted of adultery, to 99 lashes in prison for "spreading corruption and indecency" over a false picture published by Times newspaper on 28 August this year for which it has already apologised.

According to The Guardian, the unveiled photograph in question, published by the British tabloid Times, was not actually that of Sakineh, but of another woman.

The claim, which has not been confirmed so far, comes from her family and a lawyer representing Mohammadi Ashtiani, based on reports from those who have recently left the prison in Tabriz where she has been held for the last four years.

The picture of the 'unveiled' woman is reportedly that of Susan Hejrat, an Iranian political activist living in Sweden, which was published along with an article she had written about Sakineh's case, perhaps causing the confusion.

In its apology, published on Friday, the Times said the photograph had been obtained from Mohammad Mostafaei, one of Ashtiani's lawyers, who had claimed that he received the picture from her son, Sajad Ghaderzadeh, which he has denied.

Sajad has accused the Iranian authorities of using the mistaken picture as "an excuse to increase their harassment of our mother".

"My mother has been called in to see the judge in charge of prison misdemeanours, and he has sentenced our helpless mother to 99 lashes on false charges of spreading corruption and indecency by disseminating this picture of a woman presumed to be her without hijab," he added.

He further said the lashes has not been administered yet, and added, that they would file an appeal in court against the decision.

Ashtiani has reportedly been denied access to phone calls and visits for the past two weeks, including her family and even her lawyer. (ANI)

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