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Western Artists, Politicians Sign Joint Letter Calling For Ashtiani's Release


Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

More than 80 artists, academics, and politicians -- including U.S. actor Robert Redford and British singer Sting -- have signed a letter calling on Iranian authorities to release Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

In a public letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and published on the front page of Britain's "The Times" newspaper, the signatories say Ashtiani "has suffered enough."

They urge Iran to release immediately "Ashtiani, her son Sajad Ghaderzade, and her lawyer, Javid Houtan Kian, from incarceration."

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, American actor Robert De Niro, and Nobel literature laureate Wole Soyinka are also among the signatories.

Ashtiani's sentence to be stoned for adultery was suspended earlier this year, but she still faces possible execution by hanging for complicity in the murder of her husband.

compiled from agency reports
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