Stoning sentence a matter for judiciary, not politicians, Iran says
Iran's government said Tuesday that it would not allow the case of a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery to turn political, DPA reported.
"The case of a murder suspect should not be turned into a political and human rights issue," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.
The case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, 43, drew international criticism after her conviction for adultery and allegations that she was involved in her husband's murder. Western governments have demanded a revision of her sentence.
"Some Western officials, including the foreign ministers of France and Italy, have involved themselves in the case but unfortunately on the basis of wrong information," Mehmanparast said.
The spokesman reiterated that Mohammadi-Ashtiani was charged with both adultery and murder, adding that both charges were still under investigation.
The stoning sentence on the adultery charge has been suspended by the judiciary after international protests.
However, if she is convicted as an accomplice in the murder of her husband, she might either be hanged or at least sentenced to a long jail term.
Her attorney and human rights groups said Mohammadi-Ashtiani was only convicted of adultery and the murder charge was added later.
"Instead of supporting a murder suspect, attention [by the West] should also be paid to the family members of the victim," Mehmanparast said.