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Relatives Visit Detained Germans In Iran

The German journalists had reportedly come to Tabriz to report on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Germany's Foreign Ministry says Iranian authorities have permitted family members to visit two German journalists who are detained in Iran, where they had traveled to report on the case of the Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

A German Foreign Ministry statement, quoted by the AFP news agency, said the visit occurred in Iran's northwestern city of Tabriz, where the German reporter and photographer were detained in October.

The statement said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle thanked his Iranian counterpart for support over the visitation -- but said Germany wants to see the Germans freed so they can return home.

The detained Germans, working for the "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper, had gone to Tabriz to meet with the son and lawyer of the woman who was sentenced to death, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. The son and lawyer were also arrested.

Iran says the Germans entered the country on tourist visas and did not have the proper authorization to work as journalists.

Ashtiani's sentence to death by stoning, which is currently being reviewed by Iranian authorities, has been condemned by the United States, the European Union and rights groups.

compiled from agency reports