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Iran's Sakineh Mohammadai Ashtiani to Be Stoned to Death for Adultery

Iran's Sakineh Mohammadai Ashtiani to be stoned to death for adultery.  Ashtiani is a 43 year old mother of two who has been in imprisoned since May 2006 for a conviction of adultery.  Ashtiani was sentenced to 99 lashes and later that year was accused of murdering her husband.  Though the murder charges were dropped, an investigation into the adultery charges was renewed.  An Iranian judge ruled, citing "judge's knowledge" that Ashtiani would be stoned to death.  Iranian Article  102 of the Iranian Penal Code instructs that men be buried to their waists, women to their breasts, for an execution by stoning with "stones large enough to cause pain, but not so large as to kill the victim immediately."  Iranian laws also state that the stones "not be large enough to kill the person by one or two strikes; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones."

Ashtiani admits she was under duress at the time of the adultery confession.  Mohammad Mostafaei is a human rights lawyer representing Ashtiani in what may be an exercise in futility.  Ashtiani's case has been denied an appeal at multiple hearings.  Ashatiani's family and human rights groups from around the globe have gathered in an attempt to prevent the death sentence.  Ashtiani's stoning could occur as early as July 10, 2010.

Reports from Amnesty International indicate that Iran executed 388 convicts in 2009.  Most of the executions were by hanging.

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