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Iran sentences couple to death for adultery

Man’s wife presents video evidence to police, but asks court to spare the capital punishment; judges instead uphold her father’s demand

Illustrative: In this picture taken on Saturday, April 16, 2011, and released by the semi-official Mehr News Agency, a blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and slaying of two policemen, including the head of Shraz police waits to be hanged in public, as two police officers, look on, at the city of Shiraz, about 555 miles (924 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran.  (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Mohammad Hadi Khosravi)
Illustrative: In this picture taken on Saturday, April 16, 2011, and released by the semi-official Mehr News Agency, a blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and slaying of two policemen, including the head of Shraz police waits to be hanged in public, as two police officers, look on, at the city of Shiraz, about 555 miles (924 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Mohammad Hadi Khosravi)

TEHRAN, Iran  — Iran’s supreme court has upheld death sentences for adultery against a 27-year-old and his 33-year-old lover after the man’s father-in-law denied them clemency, a reformist newspaper reported Saturday.

The man’s wife, who presented police with video evidence of her husband’s infidelity early this year, had asked the courts to spare the pair the death penalty, the Shargh daily said.

But her father demanded that the death sentence be imposed and the court found in his favor, the paper added.

Iranian law provides that if a victim’s family forgives the accused in a capital crime, the convict can be either pardoned or given a jail sentence.

Under the interpretation of Islamic sharia law in force since Iran’s 1979 revolution, adultery is punishable by stoning.

But Tehran changed the law in 2013 to allow judges to order an alternative method of execution, usually hanging.

It was unclear what form of execution the court ordered in the latest case.

According to human rights group Amnesty International, Iran carried out 246 executions last year, just one in public.

It gave no breakdown of the number carried out for adultery.

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