Medieval Times

By: Margarita Williams

An Iranian woman accused of adultery will not be stoned to death after political and religious leaders called the punishment medieval, barbaric and brutal. Human rights groups spoke out on 43-year-old, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashitiani’s behalf, asking for her to be treated like a human being.

The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his wife Laureen Harper sent an open letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad calling for Ashtiani’s release. Mrs. Harper wrote that she was “deeply troubled by the flagrant disregard of women’s rights in Iran” and said Ashtiani’s case “is an affront to any sense of moral or human decency.”

The International Committee against Stoning said  she will be hanged rather than stoned on Wednesday, but authorities will not confirm or deny the allegations.

Ashitiani was previously sentenced to 99 lashes in May of 2006 after having inappropriate relationships with two men after her husband died. Later that year she was also convicted of adultery after retracting a confession, which she said was made under duress.

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