Tehran (Iran), Dec 16: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who was earlier sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery charges, had suffered years of abuse and was sold for sex by her drug addict husband Ebrahim Ghaderzade, her lawyer Mohammed Mostafaei has said.
Mostafaei’s comments come days after the Iranian government broadcasted a documentary of Ashtiani returning to her home.
In the video, Ashtiani had re-enacted the murder of her husband and confessed afresh to the killing.
Mostafaei claimed that the government was intent on portraying Ashtiani as an immoral woman who had murdered her husband so she could abscond with her lover.
“I believe my client is now in a very dangerous situation. It’s my duty to speak on her behalf. I can’t stay silent,” the Daily Mail quoted Mostafaei, as saying.
“Just before they want to execute someone they put them on state TV to talk about their crime and condemn themselves,” he added.
Mostafaei said that Ashtiani’s father had forced her to marry Ghaderzade, who was “very brutal” from the beginning.
“She had two children, but he continued to abuse her physically and verbally, refusing to give her a divorce. Eventually he became an opium addict and demanded that she support his habit by prostituting herself,” the lawyer said.
Mostafaei also claimed that Ashtiani was raped in her own home with her husband’s permission.
“When she told me about that she was sobbing,” he said.
Ashtiani, a mother of two, was originally convicted in May 2006 after being found guilty of having had an “illicit relationship” with two men following the death of her husband and reportedly received 99 lashes in front of her son.
Later that year, as a result of information that surfaced during the trial of a man accused of murdering her husband, her adultery case was re-opened.
Despite retracting a confession she said she had made under duress in August, Ashtiani was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.
The Iranian government also claims that she had a hand in the murder of her husband. (ANI)