Iranian woman's stoning sentence 'still in place'

His warning came after Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week claimed it was untrue that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a mother of two, had been sentenced to death and her trial was still pending.

The head of Iran's judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, earlier said her sentence had been suspended. "Despite what the Iranian authorities have declared, there has been no official communication that the stoning sentence has been suspended by Iran's judiciary," Ashtiani's lawyer Javid Hutan Kian told AKI.

Ashtiani's life remains in danger, he said, urging international media not to lose interest in her case.  Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and helping kill her husband, sparking international outrage. She is detained in the northwestern city of Tabriz, where she has no access to her two children.

She lost an appeal against her sentence and next month, Kian is due to discuss her case with judges from Iran's Supreme Court. Kian said Sakineh's two children, Sajjad and Sahideh, allege they have been threatened by agents of the Iranian government.

"Sakineh's son and daughter are in a bad psychological state. They are terrified at what the authorities could do to their mother," he said, urging journalists to contact him directly about the case. There are 150 people in Iran who have been sentenced to death by stoning, most of them women. The last known stoning was carried out in 2007, though the government rarely confirms that such punishments have been meted out.

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