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21. Desember 2004  
Norway condemns Iranian death sentence

Jan PetersenThe Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen condemns the planned execution of 19-year-old Leyla M in Iran.

The Iranian ambassador was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday to explain the situation. 19-year-old Leyla M., who is mentally underdeveloped, has been sentenced to hanging for adultery.

Petersen said that he is appalled by the sentence.

"I think it's a terrible and unbelievable sentence, and this is why we protest it," Petersen said to TV 2 Nyhetene. "We have joined both the EU protest against Iran and we called the Iranian ambassador in Norway so that the Norwegian authorities could present its protest directly."

According to Petersen, the Iranian ambassador was informed that the sentence is unacceptable, and Norway urges Iranian authorities to overturn the grotesque sentence.

The Foreign Affairs minister also urges Norwegian companies that operate in Iran to hand over a formal protest to the authorities. However, both Statoil and Hydro, who are heavily involved in Iran, have informed TV 2 Nettavisen that they currently have no plans of protesting.

Petersen will so far not join an economic boycott of the country.

"Economic interests may also lead to a positive development of the country and I do not think a boycott in this case will lead us closer to the goal of getting an end to the death sentences," Petersen said.

In a press release, the Iranian embassy stressed that the country's Supreme Court will decide Layla's fate.

VIa Nettavisen News in English.


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