Thursday, January 18, 2007

Spare a Bob for Nazanin

Just to remind ourselves why living here in Thanet is still better than living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, here's some cheering news from The Register that schoolgirl Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi has been spared the rope following an international internet campaign.

To recap, Nazanin Fatehi was in January 2006 "sentenced to death for murder by court in Iran after she stabbed 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".

In June 2006, "the Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi announced a stay of execution and the call for a complete new retrial" - scheduled for 10 January.

Mercifully, the five judges who reviewed her case "determined that the act was unintentional and was indeed a case of self-defense". As a result she was "exonerated from the charge of murder".

That's the good news. The bad news is that the judges "ruled that disproportionate force was used by Nazanin while trying to defend herself and her 15-year old niece" and ordered that she pay 'dieh', or 'blood money', "to receive a pardon from the family of the deceased before she can be released from prison".

Nazanin's lawyers say they "intend to appeal the payment of blood money, but since this may take several months they also have requested bail so that Nazanin may be released from prison immediately. The court has set bail in the amount of 400,000,000 Rials (over US$40,000)".

Since the poor girl's family is a bit cash-strapped, the Help Nazanin campaign is asking for donations. All cash received "will be allocated to the requested bail and other campaign costs" and, if the appeal is successful, "any excess donation fund will be used to assist Nazanin's family as well as any other cases of other girls sentenced to death in Iran" under what passes for justice in the Islamic courts.

I dipped my hand in my wallet, an event rarely seen, and sent some cash to the fighting fund. We're sure those of you with a few quid to spare will be happy to do the same. You can find details on how to make a donation here.


Anonymous said...

A shocking story. What happened to the other two men? Have they been punished under Sharia law for attempted rape? The ruling of excessive force used by Nazanin is as bizarre as some rulings in this country when people have tried to defend themselves or their property.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the two men?
Probably smuggled themselves into England, claimed asylum on the grounds they were persecuted in their own country, came to Thanet, got all the handouts and now work illegally delivering salmonella special pizzas in Cliftonville.
Another humanitarian triumph for Tony and our wonderful government.

One Voice In Thanet said...

Anonymous 908, I do not believe there is any link in this story to the UK Government. Your sidestepping of the (rather serious) humanitarian issue to attempt to create such a link and make an unfounded criticism of the Government simply signals you have no concern for the plight of this individual.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm One Voice - I understand what you are saying but can you deny that criminals from other countries have successfully entered the UK as refugees, been allowed to stay by the government and then committed further crimes?
Although its a different type of crime from the one in the story I am told by Met Police that the heroin trade in London is now Kurd controlled.
More locally in Cliftonville over the last few years we have had quite a few Roma who came as refugees as they claimed they were persecuted (in fact due to their often criminal activities) and I have personal knowledge of criminal activity they soon started up in our area, some car related, some drug and plenty of social security fraud.