Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman convicted of murder and adultery, and sentenced to death by stoning, walks to a room to speak with media as she meets with her son, Sajjad Qaderzadeh (unseen), in the northwestern city of Tabriz, on January 1, 2011. After international outcry her sentence is being reconsidered by the Iranian judiciary. UPI Photo | License Photo
TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- An Iranian human rights official said Monday the death sentence for a woman originally set for execution by stoning was suspended.
Zohreh Elahian, the chairwoman of Iran's human rights committee, said in a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff that the sentence for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was halted.
"(The) stoning verdict of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has not been finalized and it is suspended at the moment but she is sentenced to 10-year jail term," the lawmaker was quoted by the Iranian Student News Association as saying.
In December, Rousseff, then president-elect, voiced disappointment that Brazil abstained on a U.N. resolution condemning Iran's human rights record.
Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of having an affair with two men after the death of her husband. She confessed on state-run television in August to adultery and murder but her lawyers said the confession was coerced.
Her execution was initially suspended in July amid an international furor over Iran's human rights record.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary-general of Iran's human rights council, told state-funded broadcaster Press TV in November the execution orders could be lifted.
"Iran's council of human rights has helped a lot to reduce her sentence and we think there is a good chance that her life could be saved," he was quoted as saying.