Iran Denies Freeing Condemned Woman By WILLIAM YONG Published: December 10, 2010 TEHRAN - Iran denied reports on Friday that it has freed a woman sentenced to death by stoning after human rights campaigners stoked confusion by releasing unconfirmed reports to the press. A report Friday on the Web site of Iran's state-run English language news channel Press TV said reports of the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, were false and were part of a "vast publicity campaign by Western media." On Thursday night, foreign news reports citing a group supporting her based in Germany said that Iran's authorities had released Ms. Ashtiani, along with her son and her lawyer . "We have got news from Iran that they are free," Mina Ahadi, spokeswoman for the International Campaign Against Stoning, was quoted as saying. The unconfirmed report prompted foreign governments to welcome the news with Maureen Harper, the wife of the Canadian prime minister, and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini both issuing statements. The news report also ran images showing Ashtiani standing in the doorway of her home in a village in Iran's northwestern Azarbaijan region and speaking with her son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, in an informal setting, prompting further speculation that she had been released. The photographs have subsequently been revealed to be stills from a new documentary program, due to be aired on Press TV, which will show Ms. Ashtiani guiding a camera crew around the home where she and an accomplice allegedly plotted to murder her husband in 2006. She was originally sentenced to death by stoning for adultery but that sentenced was suspended and authorities have reframed the charges against her as murder. "Press TV has arranged with Iran's judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual recount of the crime at the murder scene," Friday's report on the channel's Web site said. Iran's latest attempt to counter the international media campaign against Ms. Ashtiani's execution is its first to directly address foreign audiences on the issue. On two previous occasions, Iranian state broadcasting has aired confessions by Ms. Ashtiani as well as denunciations by her of human rights campaigners who have joined her cause. "They are taking my side unnecessarily, I do not consider them legitimate at all," Ms. Ashtiani said in comments aired on domestic television in November which her lawyers have said were made under pressure during detention. Two German nationals who entered Iran intending to interview Ms. Ashtiani's son remain in detention more than two months after being arrested by Iranian security officers in October. The two, said to be a reporter and a photographer working for Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper, have been charged with spying after confessing to having entered Iran without proper journalistic accreditation, Iranian judicial officials say.