Help Save Nazanin

Please take a moment to read this story. I saw it on the news tonight.

On January 3, 2006, 18-year-old Nazanin was sentenced to death for murder by court in Iran after she reportedly admitted fatally stabbing one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj (a suburb of Tehran) in March 2005. She was seventeen at the time. Her sentence is subject to review by the Court of Appeal, and if upheld, to confirmation by the Supreme Court.

According to reports in the Iranian newspaper E’temaad, Nazanin told the court that three men had approached her and her niece, forced them to the ground and attempted to rape them. Seeking to defend her niece and herself, Nazanin stabbed one man in the hand with a knife that she possessed. As the men continued their attack, she stabbed another of the men in the chest, which eventually caused his death. She reportedly 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”. She was nevertheless sentenced to the maximum punishment possible under the law, death by hanging.

Urgent action is needed to help save a young life whose only crime was an attempt to defend herself. Nazanin and many like her are caught between two undesirable options. On one hand, Iranian Penal Code severely limits the possibility of using ‘self-defense’ as a legitimate defence to aggression. On the other hand, if Nazanin had allowed the rape to take place, she could still be imprisoned, flogged or stoned for having sex outside of marriage unless four male witnesses to the actual rape would testify on her behalf.

Moreover, Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and is therefore under obligation NOT to impose the death penalty on those under the age of 18. Nevertheless, Amnesty International has recorded 18 executions of child offenders in Iran since 1990. In 2005 alone, at least eight executions of child offenders were recorded. Nazanin was 17 years old at the time of commission of the offense and therefore Iran is in breach.

http://www.helpnazanin.com

To watch the 30 min documentary GO TO http://www.bodog.tv

5 Responses to “Help Save Nazanin”


  1. 1 The Duke January 9, 2007 at 6:08 am

    Man, depressing!

  2. 2 Pie! January 9, 2007 at 8:41 am

    I saw a clip of that doc earlier this afternoon. They had the actual police report narrated with the caption in English. And the voice just sounded so dignified as if to Nazanin should have expected these consequences as a result of her actions.

    Frustrating.

  3. 3 LMizzle January 9, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    No way! I saw a phone conversation between Nazanin and her mother where she was crying and her mother was crying too. It’s disgusting what the media has done to her.

  4. 4 Manda Girl January 9, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    It’s amazing what happens in other parts of the world.

  5. 5 Sandra January 10, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Iran’s under Sharia law, right? It’s disgusting that if a woman claims to have been raped she requires FOUR male witnesses otherwise she gets charged with adultery.


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