Vienna, 20 December 2004 Press release

Foreign Minister Plassnik shocked over impending stoning in Iran


Appeal to Tehran not to execute the sentence

Vienna, 20 December 2004 - Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik expressed her dismay over the news that another young woman is facing imminent execution in Iran - and, even worse, by the particularly cruel method of stoning to death. "I appeal to the authorities in Tehran not to execute the sentence, especially in view of the fact that Iran adopted a moratorium on death by stoning in 2002", the Foreign Minister stated.

Only a few days ago the case of Leyla M. triggered a worldwide outcry and caused Austria to suggest an urgent procedure within the framework of the European Union which calls upon Iran to adopt a conciliatory approach and respect its human rights obligations. The relevant EU demarche, which is expected any minute, will also cover this most recent case of Hajieh Esmailvand.