Apparently because of international outrage over the stoning of her male partner last year, indicating that international pressure works. “Woman escapes stoning for adultery,” from Agence France-Presse (thanks to JE):
IRAN has freed a woman convicted of adultery who faced being stoned to death like her male partner whose execution by stoning last year caused international outrage, her lawyer said today.
Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, who had spent a total of 11 years behind bars, was released from a prison in the city of Qazvin last night on the orders of Iranian judiciary’s amnesty commission, lawyer Shadi Sadr said.
She was freed along with the son she had conceived with her partner Jafar Kiani, whose stoning in July 2007 was carried out by the local authorities in apparent defiance of the central judiciary.
Under Iran’s Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning, which involves the public hurling stones at the convict buried up to his waist.
But a 2002 directive by judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi imposed a moratorium on such executions.
Kiani’s stoning in a village in the northwestern Qazvin province was the first such stoning to be confirmed in years.
“It was a rare ruling,” Mr Sadr said of the surprise release.
“She still could not believe she was pardoned,” Mr Sadr said, adding that Ebrahimi had now returned with her son Ali to her family in northern Iran.