Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Save Nazanin

From the website Save Nazanin:
Save Nazanin According to the Iranian daily Etemaad, then 17-year-old Nazanin and her niece had been spending some time in a park west of Tehran with their boyfriends, when three men started harassing them.

The girls` boyfriends fled from the scene, leaving them helpless behind. The men pushed Nazanin and her niece down on the ground and tried to rape them, and to protect herself, she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

The girls tried to escape, but the men overtook them, and at this point, Nazanin stabbed one of the other men in the chest, which eventually killed him. According to the newspaper, she broke down in tears when she told the court: "I wanted to defend myself and my niece. I did not want to kill that boy. At the heat of the moment I did not know what to do because no one came to our help." Nevertheless, the court sentenced her to death by hanging.

And a little further down:
Another point worth noticing, is that if Nazanin had let the men rape her, she could in the worst case have been arrested for extra-martial sex, which carries a maximum penalty of 100 lashes.

I understand that the culture is one that values men's lives more than it does women's. I have a separate issue with that. But this is clearly more than a culture difference. This is not only a miscarriage of justice, but a human-rights violation.

There is not much time before her execution is carried out. Please go to the page to see how you can help.

[Update - 06/01/2006] There are unconfirmed reports that Nazanin's execution may have been overturned. I'll update this entry as I find out more.

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