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Iranian Woman Faces Being Stoned to Death for Adultery

An Iranian woman faces being stoned to death after being accused of committing adultery with two men involved in the killing of her husband, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

If the barbaric sentence is enforced it would be the first stoning to take place in the hardline Islamic Republic in years, the Israeli paper said.

Infidelity is outlawed in Iran and usually punished with lashes or prison. Execution is permitted under Iranian law but stoning is rare, experts say.

Sakineh Mohamamadi e Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother-of-two from the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, is accused of having affairs with two men, who were accused of murdering her husband in 2005.

Ashtiani was originally sentenced to 99 lashes for having "illicit relationships" and sent to jail, where she remains.

She was then tried for murder and found guilty, and the sentence of death by stoning imposed, the Post said.

While adultery is punishable by stoning, Iranian human rights advocates point out that murder is punishable by hanging, and suggest that her adultery case was reopened during her murder trial, despite her already having been sentenced.

Ashtiani has denied any wrongdoing. Her two children, Fasride, 16, and Sajjad, 20, have been leading the campaign for her release, backed by human rights groups.

Ashtiani's lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaie, claimed her execution is imminent.