Iran rejects Brazil asylum for woman facing stoning

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran on Tuesday rejected an offer by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to give asylum to an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The sentence imposed on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani for an extra-marital relationship, which she denies, has angered human rights groups and caused an international outcry.

Tehran has suspended the sentence, pending a review by the country’s judiciary but it could still be carried out.

Lula called on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month to allow Brazil to give refuge to Mohammadi Ashtiani.

“From what we know about Mr. da Silva, he has a humane and sensitive character and probably he has not been provided with enough information,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.

“We can give details of this person’s crimes, who has been convicted, and then I think the issue will be clarified for him,” Mehmanparast said.


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