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Iran warns Germany not to pressure over release of journalists

Iran has warned Germany against trying to pressure the Islamic state into freeing two detained reporters. The men were interviewing the son of a woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery.

A face behind bars with the Iranian flag in the background

Tehran says Berlin is politicizing a legal matter

Iran has warned Germany against trying to pressure the Islamic state into freeing two German of its detained reporters.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued the warning on Tuesday after 100 prominent German political and business figures published an appeal to Iran on Sunday to free the two German reporters held in Iran since October.

"We inform our German friends that the strategy of creating pressure to influence the court decision will have the opposite effect," Ramin Mehmanparast told a weekly news conference in Tehran.

"We are warning that our judiciary will never make decisions under such pressures. Our judiciary is independent," Mehmanparast told reporters, adding that Berlin was attempting to "politicize" a strictly legal matter.

No permission to work in country: Iran

The two reporters for German weekly Bild am Sonntag were arrested in October while interviewing the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death for adultery. Her case has sparked global outrage and highlighted concerns about Iran's human rights record.

Tehran claims the German reporters did not have permission to work as journalists in the country.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was among members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet to join opposition leaders and celebrities in the 15-page appeal, published in the newspaper Sunday.

Ashtiani, jailed in the northwestern city of Tabriz, told reporters on Saturday that she had asked her son to sue the Germans for "embarrassing" her.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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