(scroll down for updates)
In Iran, teenaged girls are sentenced to death for the crime of being raped. For the crime of defending themselves from rape, they are also sentenced to death.
From Power Line:
…According to her account, Nazanin was with her sixteen-yeare-old niece and their two boyfriends when they were approached by three men who tried to rape them. The boyfriends fled, and Nazanin defended herself with a knife she carried in her purse. She stabbed one of the men, who later died. So far, at least, I haven’t seen any version of the facts that differs materially from Nazanin’s account.
Nazanin was prosecuted for murder and sentenced to hang. The verdict was apparently set aside by an ayatollah, and she is due to be retried tomorrow, January 10.
Wikipedia has the story here. A Canadian singer (and former Miss World runner-up) named Nazanin Afshin-Jam has taken up Nazanin Fatehi’s case and has set up a web site called Help Nazanin. So far, over 250,000 signatures have been collected on an internet petition.
Update at 20070109/20:43:
Apparently the age of eligibility for the death penalty in Iran is 15 for boys and 9 for girls. This is what happens when sharia law is elevated above secular law.
Anybody visiting here have a young daughter? Know someone who does? Pass them the link to this post by copying and pasting it into your email:
Update at 20070111/20:50:
From the Help Nazanin website updates page:
The court’s decision: what Nazanin did was not premeditated murder. The judges added that the previous court’s verdict was partly based on unreliable and inaccurate testimony.
The court did not go as far as staying the execution today. But the family expects a formal letter to that effect in the coming days.
Despite the absence of a formal repudiation today, this is very positive news, no doubt, and the family is quite hopeful.
Nazanin’s lawyer, Shadi Sadr, said that we must remain cautious until the written verdict is provided in a few days time. Until we receive the written verdict in hand, we encourage everyone to sign the petition and spread awareness of the situation.
This isn’t over and she’s not out of the woods yet. Keep her in your prayers. And, if you haven’t already, go sign the petition.
Update at 20070113/11:53:
Again, from the Help Nazanin website updates page:
Thank you to everyone who has been sending me such kind messages of encouragement and your eagerness to help. Nazanin Fatehi’s written verdict has not been provided. It is anticipated to be given next week; therefore, it is not too late to have your voice heard. Go to the “what you can do” section. I am sorry that I am not able to answer all your individual posts at the moment as you can imagine it is quite a hectic time.