A group of journalists who used to work for the Iranian English-language news channel PressTV have written a letter to The Times calling for the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for alleged adultery.
Their letter says:
"Sir, We are journalists who worked for Press TV, Iran’s English-language news channel. We support the peoples of Iran and their right to determine the country’s future, free of foreign pressure or intervention. However, we are distressed by the uncertainty over the fate of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for alleged adultery. We believe that, almost certainly, her conviction failed to meet Iran’s Islamic evidential requirements. We also regret the intimidatory acts committed against Ms Ashtiani’s lawyer and his family (report, Aug 9).We appeal to Chief Justice Sadeq Larijani to order the rapid release of Ms Ashtiani, who has already served five years in prison and received 99 lashes. We also ask him to protect defence lawyers from state harassment and to curb the excesses of those prosecutors who either ignore or flagrantly abuse basic principles of Islamic law."
- It is signed by Martin Short, Fiona O’Cleirigh, Michael Dobbs, Tim Llewellyn, Mark Watts, Andrew Gilligan and Nick Ferrari.