TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery confessed to helping a man kill her husband and re-enacted the alleged crime in an interview broadcast Friday by Iranian state television — an apparent effort by the government to deflect international criticism over the case.
It was the fourth time Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani has been shown on TV as Tehran has faced an international outcry over the announcement that she would be stoned to death, the latest source of friction between Iran and the West.
Authorities announced her conviction in the murder case only after the uproar over the stoning sentence erupted last summer, and her lawyer — who has since been arrested — said she was never formally put on trial for the killing and was tortured into confessing. Iranian authorities could use the murder charge to justify executing Ashtiani by hanging instead of stoning.
In the new footage broadcast on English-language Press TV, the 43-year-old mother of two was brought from the prison to her home outside the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran where she was shown acting out the alleged December 2005 killing, complete with an actor portraying her husband.
Ashtiani, dressed in black with a beige scarf covering her hair, described how she began an affair with another man identified as Isa Taheri. She said she gave her husband an injection that rendered him unconscious, then Taheri came to her house and electrocuted him.
Amnesty International criticized the broadcast, saying it violated international standards for a fair trial by having Ashtiani implicate herself in a crime.