Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Girl Triumphs Over Islamic Law...

...in Iran no less!

Nazanin Fatehi was 17 years old when she and her 15 year old cousin were attacked in a park. To ward off a double rape Nazanin stabbed one man in the hand and another in the chest. Not only was she convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but her extremely poor family couldn't afford a lawyer or even transportation to the prison/trial.

"According to the accounting of the court in the Etemaad newspaper, when the judge asked her why her father had not attended the hearing, she sobbed uncontrollably and yelled at the judge: "I did not want to kill him! I am not at all a bad-doer. Mr. Judge, what do you want to do with me? I am a girl child! How many times do I have to say that I did this to defend myself and my niece?" The final court verdict was death sentence by hanging." (source)

Many have been involved in the fight to save this young girl from execution (including Maryam Namazie, Amnesty International and the UN). On January 10th, after a re-trial for Namazie, a court ruled that the murder was unintentional.

"The incident that took place in March 2005 has been recognized as an act of self-defense, however the court has ruled that disproportionate force was used by Nazanin while trying to defend herself and her 15-year old niece. Accordingly, they have asked Nazanin to pay “dieh” (blood money) to receive a pardon from the family of the deceased. Once this amount is paid, Nazanin can be released from prison.

Shadi Sadr and Mr. Mostafaei, Nazanin Fatehi's lawyers, are appealing this blood money because they believe that Nazanin is innocent for acting in self-defense and therefore she should not have to pay any money. Unfortunately, this appeal may take several months, so in the meantime arrangements may be made to have Nazanin released from prison by paying “bail” money into court." (source)

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