Iranian 'stoning-to-death' woman "surprised" over reports of 99 lashes for indecency

Written by: Nairita Das
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London, Sept 9 (ANI): The Iranian "stoning-to-death" woman, whose sentence has been suspended, has now said she was 'surprised' by reports that she was lashed 99 times in a separate punishment, a judicial official has claimed.

The woman, Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, was "unaware and surprised" by the reports that claimed she received 99 lashes as punishment, Sky News quoted Vahid Kazemzadeh, a member of the country's Islamic Human Rights Commission, who met her, as saying.

He said that he discussed with her about the reports that she had been punished for "spreading corruption and indecency", after a false picture was published by the Times newspaper on 28 August this year, which appeared to show her without a headscarf.

The newspaper later acknowledged that the woman in the picture was not Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani, 43, and apologised for its mistake.

Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani's son, Sajjad, had said on Monday that he had "heard" his mother had been given 99 lashes as punishment for indecency over the image.

Kazemzadeh also said that the woman's death sentence had been suspended "on the orders of the head of the judiciary", confirming what Iran had been saying since July.

Several international governments and human rights bodies had condemned Ashtiani's sentence and some even questioned whether she received a fair trial.

Amnesty International said suspending the stoning was not enough because it was only a temporary decision, and called on Iran to overturn the death sentence "once and for all". (ANI)

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