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Amnesty International will call on Tehran on Monday morning to commute the sentences of around eight women who are at imminent risk of being stoned to death and to impose an immediate moratorium on the punishment.

According to reports received by the human rights group, the woman face the barbaric penalty for commiting adultery.

Ashraf Kalhori was scheduled to be stoned to death for adultery with her neighbour – a charge she now denies – in July 2006, but her execution was stayed.

Ms Kalhori was also sentenced to 15 years’ for taking part in her husband’s murder.

Iranian media are now reporting that the Amnesty and Clemency Commission has rejected her plea and that her sentence could now be implemented at any time.

Another woman, known as Iran, is also at risk of execution by stoning. She was attacked by her husband when he saw her talking to the son of a neighbour and, while she was unconscious, the man killed her husband.

A court in Khuzestan province sentenced Iran to five years’ imprisonment for complicity in her husband’s murder, and to death by stoning for adultery.

The stoning sentence was overturned in June 2007 and she was retried, but she was again sentenced to stoning.

Anti-stoning campaigners in Iran have also highlighted the case of Khayrieh, who was sentenced to death in Khuzestan for complicity in the murder of her husband and death by stoning for adultery.

A relative of her husband, with whom she had an affair, murdered Khayrieh’s husband, who was subjecting her to domestic violence.

Khayrieh has denied any involvement in her husband’s murder, but she has acknowledged adultery and so is at risk of execution by stoning.

A woman known as Afsaneh R from Shiraz in southern Iran was also sentenced by a court in Fars in April 2008 to stoning for adultery as well as to ‘retribution’ for the murder of her husband.

This was confirmed by the Supreme Court in August.

Four other cases have also recently been discovered by anti-stoning campaigners in Iran.

Amnesty director Kate Allen said: ‘Stoning people to death is an inhumane punishment, specifically designed to increase the suffering of the victim.

‘The Iranian authorities should abolish stoning immediately and should abandon the practice of executing people for committing adultery.

‘Women and men inside Iran are fighting for an end to this horrendous practice and, in some cases, they have met with success, but we must show them international support,’ she concluded.

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