Iran State TV 'Films New Stoning Woman Confession'

Iran's state-run Press TV says it has filmed a new confession with Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

(BBC)

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery, stands with her son Sajjad Ghaderzadeh in the yard of her home in Oskou, 570 km (354 miles) northwest of Tehran in this image released on December 9, 2010. A European human rights group said on Thursday Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning, had been freed, but there was no confirmation from Iran.

Iran's state-run Press TV says it has filmed a new confession with Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Press TV said it took Ms Ashtiani to her home to recount details of her husband's murder, of which she has also been accused.

The announcement follows reports that Ms Ashtiani was freed.

The reports were apparently sparked by the release of photos of her and her son at their home in Iran.

Press TV, a state-run English-language channel, said it would broadcast the interview with Ms Ashtiani later on Friday.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery, wipes her face during an interview with Iran's English language news station Press TV in Tabriz, 540 km (336 miles) northwest of Tehran in this image released on December 9, 2010. A European human rights group said on Thursday Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning, had been freed, but there was no confirmation from Iran.

"Contrary to a vast publicity campaign by Western media that confessed murderer Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been released, a team of broadcast production team with the Iran-based Press TV has arranged with Iran's judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual recount of the crime at the murder scene," Press TV said on its website.

Ms Ashtiani's son, Sajad Ghaderzadeh, and her lawyer, Houtan Kian, also gave Press TV interviews.

The two are also under arrest.

Deflecting pressure

Ms Ashtiani's plight came to international prominence when it emerged earlier this year that she was to be executed by stoning for adultery after her appeals for clemency were denied.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (L), sentenced to death for adultery, speaks with her son Sajjad Ghaderzadeh before an interview with Iran's English language news station Press TV in Tabriz, 540 km (336 miles) northwest of Tehran in this image released on December 9, 2010. A European human rights group said on Thursday Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning, had been freed, but there was no confirmation from Iran.

After coming under strong international pressure, Iranian authorities said her stoning sentence had been suspended, but she faced a death sentence for the murder of her husband.

Correspondents say Iranian media have been portraying Ms Ashtiani as a common murderer, rather than an adulterer, as a way of trying to deflect international pressure over the stoning sentence.

Reports in international media that she had been freed followed a statement on Thursday from The International Committee Against Stoning that it had "received reports of the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and her son".

The Germany-based campaign group said it was awaiting confirmation from Iranian authorities.