October 14, 2010 / 6:49 PM / 9 years ago

Lawyer wants sanctions on Iranian leaders' travel

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and United Nations should tighten curbs on Iranian leaders’ foreign travel over alleged human rights violations, the lawyer who defended an Iranian women sentenced to death by stoning said Thursday.

Mohammad Mostafaei, who has sought asylum abroad after fleeing Iran in July, made his comments to the European Parliament’s human rights sub-committee in Brussels.

“The European Union and the U.N. Security Council should try, instead of economic sanctions on the Iranian people, to implement political sanctions against Iran,” he said.

“Why should Iranian rulers who are violating human rights be able to go abroad to give speeches?”

Mostafaei, an outspoken critic of Iran’s judicial system who left Iran after questioning by Iranian authorities, said the EU should also ease the way for people seeking asylum and call for a fact-finding mission on the Iranian government.

EU leaders have condemned the death sentence imposed on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani for adultery. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has described it as barbaric.

The stoning sentence has been suspended pending a review by Iran’s judiciary.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran’s sharia or Islamic law, enforced since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Reporting by Emily Coleman, editing by Mark Heinrich

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