Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Sajjad Ghaderzadeh

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to stoning in Iran and her son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh spoke to foreign reporters on Saturday in a press conference arranged by the judiciary.
International media report that Ashtiani denied being tortured in prison and maintained that all her interviews have been done voluntarily.

Ashtiani has appeared earlier in Iranian television making a number of confessions incriminating herself in the murder of her husband.

Sajjad Ghaderzadeh who was only released on December 12 on a $40,000 bail from Tabriz Prison called for clemency in the case of his mother. He claimed: “I thought if the case becomes controversial then my mother would be released but that didn’t happen.”

He stated that through the internet and Mina Ahadi, an Iranian resident of Germany who heads the Campaign Against Stoning, he had found the two German journalists that intended to interview him in Tabriz. He added that Ahadi also introduced him to Mohammad Mostafai, his mother’s lawyer.

Ghaderzadeh went on to blame Mohammad Mostafai and Javid Houtan Kian, lawyers of his mother’s case and the two German journalists for aggravating the case against her mother.

He stated that Mohammad Mostafai had taken $2000 from them and left Iran without even seeing his mother. Gajderzadeh claimed that Mostafai had used her mother’s case to get asylum in a foreign country.

Mohammad Mostafai fled Iran last year after his wife and brother-in-law were summoned by the Iranian judiciary. He sought asylum in Norway where he currently lives.

Ghaderzadeh was arrested in September while being interviewed by the two German journalists in Tabriz. Iranian security forces arrested him along with the two German journalists and Javid Houtan Kian, the other lawyer of the case. Houtan Kian and two journalists still remain in custody.

Iranian judiciary sentenced Mohammadi Ashtiani to death by stoning in 2006 for adultery. An international campaign to stop her sentence has issued in the past months after which her sentence was suspended and came under review. She could still face death by hanging for complicity in the murder of her husband.