Several European countries are concerned about reports of Iranian citizen Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's possible execution and demand that the Iranian authorities repeal this sentence, the foreign ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden said in a joint statement in Reykjavik on Nov. 3.
"We are closely watching his case, as Ashtiani faces execution by stoning for adultery, or hanging for murder," the statement said. "Both sentences are unacceptable. We express our strong protest against the death penalty in all circumstances."
The 43-year-old Ashtiani has been on death row in Iran since 2006. Her case became known internationally in 2010 after high-profile reports that she was convicted of extramarital affairs and sentenced to execution by stoning.
According to Sharia law, married Iranians citizens are sentenced to death by stoning if convicted of adultery.
Earlier, the Iranian judiciary said it had suspended Ashtiani's execution by stoning, but had yet to take a final decision on her execution. According to Iranian General Prosecutor Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje'i, this sentence is more of a priority than the penalty for adultery.
In their statement, the European FMs urged the Iranian authorities to review the sentence.
"It should be noted that Ashtiani's case is one of a number of similar cases," the statement said. "We express our deep concern over the human rights situation in Iran, including toward the prosecution of human rights defenders and reports of excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, unfair trials and charges of torture."
The growing number of executions causes particular concern, the statement stressed.