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History's Horrors In the Present: Iranian sisters face stoning for adultery
Two Iranian sisters convicted of adultery face being stoned to death after the supreme court upheld the death sentences against them, the Etemad newspaper Monday quoted their lawyer as saying.
The two were found guilty of adultery -- a capital crime in Islamic Iran -- after the husband of one sister presented video evidence showing them in the company of other men while he was away.
"Branch 23 of the supreme court has confirmed the stoning sentence," said their lawyer, Jabbar Solati.
The penal court of Tehran province had already sentenced the sisters identified only as Zohreh, 27, and Azar (no age given) to stoning, the daily said.
Solati explained that the two sisters had initially been tried for "illegal relations" and received 99 lashes. However in a second trial they were convicted of "adultery."
The pair admitted they were in the video presented by the husband but argued that there was no adultery as none of the footage showed them engaged in a sexual act with other men.
"There is no legal evidence whereby the judge could have the knowledge for issuing a stoning sentence," Solati said, adding that he had appealed to the state prosecutor.
"The two sisters have been tried twice for one crime," Solati protested.
Under Iran's Islamic law adultery is theoretically punishable by stoning, although in late 2002 judiciary head Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi issued a writ suspending such executions.
However in July 2007, Jafar Kiani was stoned to death for adultery in a village in the northwestern province of Qazvin in a rare execution by stoning that provoked a wave of international outrage.