EU condemns stoning death sentence
TEHRAN, Iran – The European Union condemned the stoning to death sentence passed against an Iranian woman convicted for adultery, saying it was “barbaric”.
In his first State of the Union address to the European parliament in Strasbourg, France, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he was “appalled” by the news of the sentencing, and called it “barbaric beyond words.”
The sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was put on hold in July after an international outcry over the brutality of the punishment, and it is now being reviewed by Iran’s supreme court.
Ashtiani’s lawyer has said there are still worries the delayed execution could be carried out soon with the end of a moratorium on death sentences for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Ashtiani’s case points to larger divides between the West and Iran, which staunchly defends its legal codes and human rights standards as fully developed and in keeping with its traditions and values.
Iranian authorities have repeatedly bristled at Western criticism – including United States State Department rights reports – saying foreign governments overlook shortcomings in their own systems and fail to hold Western ally Israel accountable for its treatment of Palestinians.
Barroso’s comments came shortly after Iran yesterday scoffed at European concern over the case. (AP)