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Iran Says Woman Sentenced to Death by Stoning Still in Custody

A women poses during a demonstration of the National Council of Resistance of Iran against stoning and death penalty in Berlin, Germany (File)

Iranian state television says a woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning has not been freed, contradicting an earlier report by a European human rights group.

A statement issued Friday by Press TV denounced news that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani had been released as a "vast publicity campaign by Western media."

The German-based International Campaign Against Stoning announced Ashtiani's release Thursday, apparently basing its report on still pictures broadcast over Press TV of Ashtiani with her son.

But the state-run outlet said the images were taken from a documentary to be aired Friday in which she recounts the murder of her husband.

The 43-year-old Ashtiani was convicted and sentenced to die in two different trials in 2006, both related to her husband's death. The stoning sentence was for her conviction of having an "illicit relationship" with two men after the murder.

She was also sentenced to hang for her involvement in her husband's murder, but that sentence was commuted in 2007 to ten years in prison.

The stoning sentence sparked worldwide protests and a campaign for her release.

Ashtiani's son and lawyer were arrested back in October, along with two German journalists who were interviewing them.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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