Last updated: 30 september, 2010 - 16:16 GMT

Fighting Iran's stoning sentences

Iranian human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei

Iranian lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei. Photo Hakon Mosvold Larsen/AFP/Getty Images

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There has been an international outcry over the case of click Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for allegedly committing adultery.

There have been reports that she now faces being hanged for the murder of her husband, but others suggesting that the stoning sentence has been confirmed.

The latest statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry says no decision has been taken about her future.

One man who knows the case better than anybody is Mohammad Mostafaei, Ms Ashtiani's former lawyer.

He was responsible for drawing the attention of the world to her plight, before being forced to flee from Iran.

He has now been given asylum in Norway, where his wife and daughter have recently managed to join him.

Mr Mostafaei is well known in Iran for his high profile campaign against the death penalty.

He says he has saved more than 50 clients from execution, and has often taken up the causes of women and teenagers who have been sentenced to death. He says he has charged no fee for his work in such cases.

Mohammad Mostafaei told Matthew Bannister about his his family background and what led him to take on Sakineh Ashtiani's case.

The Iranian authorities were approached for a comment but they did not respond to the request.

First broadcast on 30 September 2010

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