Self defence a hanging offence in Iran

When you look at what is called justice in many of the Islamic countries you get more of an understanding to how a murdering despot like Saddam Hussein can be tried, convicted and executed and still be held up as a martyr with some factions in the middle East.

In Iran an 17 year old girl fought off three men intent on the rape of her and a 16 year old relative and in the struggle killed one of them.

Did she get a medal or at least did the other two men get their just desserts? Not a chance. The men went free and the girl was sentenced to hang for the murder of the thug.

Fortunately a former Miss Canada intervened and managed to get a retrial for the girl, now 19.

I would doubt that even with a retrial and some international attention there is any chance that the girl will be vindicated and released. The minute that she was attacked her fate was sealed. She had no options.

If she had allowed the men to rape her and her niece, the girls would have been subjected to 100 lashes under Iranian laws on chastity. If they had been married at the time they were raped they would likely have been found guilty of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

 As I say, no options.

A isolated incident?

Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Charter of the Rights of the Child, which prohibit the execution of anyone under 18. But there are records of 18 executions of child offenders in Iran since 1990. In 2005 alone, at least eight executions of children were recorded.

Iranian authorities have for the past four years been considering a law prohibiting the death penalty for offenders under 18. A recent BBC documentary revealed how on 15 August 2004 Atefeh Rajabi, 16, was hanged in Neka, about 100 miles from Tehran, for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”. Her age given in court documents was 22.

Islam is apparently not female friendly.

Hats off to Nazanin Afshin-Jam in publicizing this case and getting a retrial, but you would think that there would be bigger players in the human rights business who would be raising hell, not only about this one case, but the whole issue of women’s rights in these countries.

Afraid of offending someone?

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