Friday, January 19, 2007

Iran clears teenage woman sentenced to death

When societies
are not encouraged to govern it's citizens in such a way as to allow Natural Law to prevail when it comes to men's and women's roles within the family context, unnatural social contracts will arise. This is not the time for a discourse on Natural Law. Wikipedia has excellent articles on the subject, especially School of Salamanca. Suffice it to say, I'm not talking about some Utopian view here. But false values, whether ideological, religious, or economic, or some combination of those, are driving men and women farther apart in understanding and compassion, and in doing so, are making it nigh impossible to have a healthy, harmonious family life. In Western Europe families are not even procreating any more (see Mark Styne, America Alone). In America we have problems, of course, but making babies is not one of them - not yet, anyway.

In Muslim countries, it's another whole story. They make lots of babies, but are living in a completely artificial atmosphere. Interesting word, atmosphere - it comes from the Sanskrit; atmos is directly related to the word 'Atman', which means The Self, Jiva, Soul, the essence within each of us, which is neither created nor dies. Sphere means realm. So atmosphere means, realm of the living essence. Our every word, thought and action help create the quality of the atmosphere in which we live, from the individual, to the family, to societies.

However you look at it, a typical Muslim family, with it's accepted 'honor killings', etc - is not exactly fun city. They live under a completely artificial ideology, which at best makes for very weird relationships between men and women, and at it's worst, a living nightmare for the women.

This next story is a natural follow-up to my previous post. As you may recall, the Iranian girl, Nazanin and her 15-year old cousin, were the victims of (a probably opportunistic) rape attempt. She defended herself and her cousin, and a man died. Nazinin was tried, convicted and sentenced to be hung. Many people have been following this story

Iran clears teenage woman sentenced to death

January 15, 2007
TEHRAN -- An Iranian court has cleared of murder charges a 19-year-old woman who was originally sentenced to death for killing a man that she said tried to rape her, the press reported Monday.

Mahabad Fatehi, known as Nazanin, was cleared by a Tehran provincial court of premeditated murder but still ordered to pay blood money of 260 million Iranian riyals ($30,600) to the victim's family, the Etemad newspaper reported.
Fatehi, whose case achieved international notoriety when it was taken up by a Canadian beauty queen of Iranian origin, said that she stabbed the man in an act of self-defense after he tried to rape her and her niece in March 2005.
In January last year, Fatehi was put on trial and sentenced to death by a criminal court, a verdict that was then quashed by the supreme court in an unprecedented move, the report said.
Her case then was referred to the Tehran provincial court, whose five judges cleared her of the charge with the majority of votes January 10, the report said.

"Two bikers held me and my niece, Somayeh, and asked us a dirty favor. I stabbed Yusof and released myself and Somayeh. But Yusof attacked me again and I stabbed him again," Fatehi said.
She maintained that she had no other option but self-defense, otherwise she and her niece would have been raped by the attackers.
She explained that she and her 15-year-old niece had gone out with two other men when the attackers trapped them in a remote location outside Tehran.

In January 2005, after seven years of legal wrangling, the Iranian judiciary acquitted a woman who killed a senior police officer that she said had attempted to rape her on the Gulf island of Kish.
According to the current Iranian law, which is under modification, a boy can be executed from the age of 15, and a girl from the age of nine. However, the execution is in practice normally carried out when the offender is over 18 years old.
The European Union and international human rights groups have been pressuring Iran to stop executing those under age 18, and the UN General Assembly has adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing the practice of executing minors in Iran.
Iran's ultraconservative judiciary has responded to critics by saying that minors are not executed in the Islamic republic. It has also proposed a law that would prohibit the death penalty or flagellation for those who were minors at the time of the crimes.

Last year at least 154 people were executed in Iran according to press and witness reports.


So I guess we'll have to wait for another opportunity to hold Rep. Keith Elliot's feet to the fire. Some of us were revving up to get Elliot to sign a petition to protest Nazanin's fate. I'm relieved for her. Other opportunities await Mr. Elliot's pleasure.

In the same edition of the Middle East Times, under the Women section, is an article describing a scene in Cairo, in which boys/men went on a sexual frenzy, apparently because they heard tickets to a movie being shown were no longer being sold. How's that for self-restraint? Anyway, whether or not that would be considered acceptable behavior to the police, it got the gals' dander up, and now they have a blog, in Egypt where women can begin to vent their frustration and outrage at such behavior.

Leading the charge is a young Egyptian female - preferring to remain anonymous due to the nature of the campaign - who has started an Arab-language feminist blog called Atralnada (morning dew). In a country where Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise, and the status of women a subject of much debate, this young activist has made her struggle public, and her blog is empowering Egyptian women to speak out in turn.

Bravo. If there are any women Arabic speakers (Egyptian colloquial) listening, go give your support. They are going to need it.


Further developments on the Nazanin story...

h/t Zee, for Pointing out the Canadian connection.

The former Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam has set up a website:

The injustice of this case propelled Nazanin Afshin-Jam to take immediate action and start a petition to help save the life of her namesake. The petition now has over 330 000 signatures from around the world.

Since initiating the Save Nazanin Campaign with Mina Ahadi- the Head of the International Committee Against Execution and Stoning- and through the help of other human rights groups and individuals, they have been able to engage the UN, Canadian Parliament, the EU, Amnesty International and others to pressure the Iranian Officials to spare the life of this child.

At this point, because Nazanin's family is very poor and unable to make payment of the bail or blood money your generosity is urgently requested to secure Nazanin Fatehi's freedom as soon as possible. The Nazanin Fatehi Trust fund has been set up. See Donations page.

There is more on this story...

And a cool video of the whole story: Be's rather emotional.

It helps to be beautiful. And compassionate. And persistent. And diligent. The former Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam is all of the above.