Brazil Offers Official Asylum to Iranian Facing Death and Treats Paraguay’s President

Iranian SakinehAiling Paraguay’s president Fernando Lugo is in Brazil where he was brought by a Brazilian Air Force Legacy jet. He was taken to the Sírio-Libanês hospital, one of the most modern and respected Brazilian health facilities, where he is undergoing a series of medical exams.

Lugo was recently found to have lymphatic cancer. He had an emergency operation on August 4 in Paraguay to remove a cystic tumor and during routine post-surgery exams the cancer was discovered.

Lugo is expected to spend two days in Brazil. He travel with his own doctors and some of his ministers.

Spokesmen for Lugo declared that the president was in a good mood, that his problem was easily treated and that they hoped the media would act responsibly, reporting the facts and not rumors.

The airplane trip was offered by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva but Paraguayan author ties say that although they appreciate the gesture by Lula, they will pay the costs of the flight.

Asylum to Iranian

The Lula administration has formally offered asylum to Sakineh Moahammadi Ashtiani, 43, who is in jail in Iran sentenced to death by stoning. She is accused of adultery. The case has attracted international attention.

The Brazilian ambassador in Tehran, Antonio Luis Espinola Salgado, made the asylum offer official on August 9.

A little more than a week ago, speaking at a political rally in Brazil, president Lula offered to accept the widow “with open arms.”

At that time Iranian government spokesmen called Lula’s offer “emotional,” and said that he (Lula) was “badly informed.” The special presidential aide for international affairs, Marco Aurélio Garcia, called the Iranian reaction “normal.”

On August 8, Sakineh’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, fled Iran and arrived in Oslo, Norway, where he requested political asylum. The lawyer’s wife and brother were arrested and kept in jail for a week. Sakineh and her family deny that she committed adultery.

Brazilian foreign minister, Celso Amorim, told reporters that President Lula hadn’t hidden his annoyance upon signing the decree regulating a new round of economic sanctions against Iran, which adopted by the UN’s Security Council in June.

“Brazil does so annoyed, because we voted against this resolution,” said Amorim, shortly after attending a ministerial meeting with Lula.

ABr

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