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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani appeared on Iranian TV appearing to admit her part in her husband's murder.

Stoning woman 'admits' murder on Iranian TV

The woman who faced death by stoning ‘confesses’ – after her lawyers say she was tortured.

THE WOMAN WHO forced an international backlash against Iran when it announced plans to stone her to death for adultery has appeared on Iranian state TV appearing to admit her part in a murder.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was due to be stoned to death last month after confessing to adultery – reportedly after she was lashed 99 times.

Now Ashtiani has appeared on television where – amid heavy shaking and emotional breakdown – she told an interviewer she was an accomplice to her husband’s murder and once again admitting she had had an extramarital relationship with her cousin.

International human rights groups now fear that Ashtiani could once again be facing execution, while her new lawyer told The Guardian that she had been held in a prison and tortured for two days before the televised interview. He said:

She was severely beaten up and tortured until she accepted to appear in front of camera. Her 22-year-old son, Sajad and her 17-year-old daughter Saeedeh are completely traumatised by watching this programme.

Her previous lawyer had been forced to flee for Turkey after defending her.

Ashtiani’s original death sentence was only commuted after a massive international outcry led by western nations who felt the nature of the executionary method chosen was, in America’s words, “tantamount to torture”.

It remained unclear at the time, however, whether she would still face execution by other means, such as hanging.

Last week Ashtiani told The Guardian she had been sentenced to death for her alleged adultery simply because she was a woman, and said the man who had killed her husband had already been imprisoned for the crime.

He had not been named or faced execution, however, because Ashtiani’s son had publicly forgiven him.