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Death penalty: neither Iran nor USA able to boast of record

Responding to recent comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian politicians comparing the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman on death row in Iran, and Teresa Lewis, a woman due to be executed in the US state of Virginia on Thursday, Amnesty International Iran researcher Drewery Dyke said:

“The simple fact is that neither Iran nor the USA has any reason to boast over its record on the death penalty.

"The cases of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Teresa Lewis are both tragic in their own way and it’s not at all helpful to use them as ammunition in a diplomatic argument between governments.

“The best way for this to end would be for Iran to announce that Ashtiani’s sentence is to be suspended and for the authorities to decriminalise consensual sexual relations, while in Virginia the state governor should urgently reconsider his decision to deny clemency to Lewis.”

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