This afternoon, Amnesty International urged the Iranian authorities to halt the execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was faces death by stoning after being convicted of adultery.
Ashtiani, 43, was convicted of having an "illicit relationship" with two men in May 2006 and received 99 lashes as her sentence. Despite this, she was later convicted of ‘adultery while being married’ and was sentenced to death by stoning. She has retracted a ‘confession’ she said was made under duress. Under Iran’s Islamic penal code adultery is punishable by stoning to death or flogging, while hanging is the penalty for murder and other capital crimes such as drug trafficking. According to the country’s law the stones must be neither too big nor too small, so that death is neither mercifully quick nor endlessly prolonged. Some stoning victims are said to have taken 20 minutes to die.
Update, July 9: She has escaped death. Iranian officials announced that Ashtiani will not be stoned to death.