Germans detained in Iran said to be OK

Oct. 22, 2010 at 11:23 AM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Two German nationals under arrest in Iran for talking with the son of a women sentenced to death by stoning are doing well, officials in Berlin said.

Two German nationals were arrested after they met with the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, convicted of adultery and later linked to the murder of her husband. She was sentenced to death by stoning under Shariah law, though her execution was suspended following an international uproar.

It was unclear when the two Germans were arrested. Tehran said the two were posing as journals for a German newspaper. Berlin said the two are doing well after they were visited by staff from the German Embassy in Tehran, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a state visit to Bucharest last week made a public plea for their release.

"We are naturally very concerned that the two citizens are freed," she was quoted as saying.

Tehran said its Western foes are waging a propaganda war in the Ashtiani case, saying it is somehow linked to its controversial nuclear program.

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, the prosecutor general in Iran, said the two Germans are associated with so-called counterrevolutionary elements.

"The two Germans have acknowledged their offense, saying that claiming to be journalists was not right," he said last week.

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