Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by TGregg, Jul 30, 2006.
On Sunday, August 15, a 16-year-old girl in the town of Neka, northern Iran, was executed. Ateqeh Sahaleh was hanged in public on Simetry Street off Rah Ahan Street at the city center. The sentence was issued by the head of Nekaâs Justice Department and subsequently upheld by the mullahsâ Supreme Court and carried out with the approval of Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Shahroudi.
In her summary trial, the teenage victim did not have any lawyer and efforts by her family to recruit a lawyer was to no avail. Ateqeh personally defended herself. She told the religious judge, Haji Rezaii, that he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption not the victims.
The judge personally pursued Ateqehâs death sentence, beyond all normal procedures and finally gained the approval of the Supreme Court. After her execution Rezai said her punishment was not execution but he had her executed for her "sharp tongue".
<A href="http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/000399.html">Story here</a>
Capital punishment is barbaric, isn't it?
Violence, poverty and abuse led girl, 16, to gallows
Tue. 31 Aug 2004
Neka (northern Iran), Aug 31 â The orphaned 16-year-old girl hanged in front of residents in this town close to the Caspian Sea on August 15 suffered years of brutal violence, exploitation and torture in the hands of relatives, local officials and plain strangers, and in a country where girls are the most vulnerable members of society, she had no one to go to for help.
The tragic picture emerges from dozens of interviews conducted by an Iran Focus correspondent with Atefeh Rajabiâs classmates, friends, relatives and neighbors in this humid, overcrowded industrial town that sits on a busy highway linking Tehran with the north of the country.
The hanging of Atefeh Rajabi has shocked the residents of Neka, who still differ widely in their assessment of the girl, but none voices support for the punishment that she has received. An air of tension and eerie silence hangs over the townâs smoke-filled tea-houses, or chaikhanehs, where men spend hours chatting quietly in clusters of three or four over tea. In a summer month like August, business should be booming in this town as thousands of Tehran residents flock to the sandy beaches of the Caspian. But right now, the visitors are for the most part not holidaymakers.
âThere are lots of strangers who come and we are used to them,â says Askar, a young shopkeeper who sells a variety of citrus fruit jams. âBut right now, all of them are asking about the girl. They want to know who she was and how she died.â
The shock of Atefehâs execution has gone far beyond this town. Even in a country that has the highest number of executions in the world and routinely executes minors, Iranians across the nation have been bewildered by accounts of the hanging of a 16-year-old girl. The fact that the religious judge himself put the rope around her neck and the letters of âcongratulationsâ from the townâs governor to the judge, commending him for his âfirm approachâ have only added to the torment and pain many say they have felt.
âAtefeh was not a well-behaved girl, thatâs for sure. But do you hang a girl for having sex with an unmarried man?â asked Fariba, a girl in Atefehâs neighborhood, who like many others did not want to be identified.
According to judicial records, by the time Atefeh was 16, she had been convicted five times of having sex with unmarried men. Each time she spent some time in jail and was given 100 lashes (Under Iranâs law, punishment for having sex with a married man would have been far heavier.)
Atefehâs father is an unemployed drug addict whose whereabouts are not known. Her mother died when Atefeh was still a child and she was left in the care of her octogenarian grandparents, which meant no care at all.
âShe was abused by a close relative,â says Mina, one of the few girls in Neka who identify themselves as Atefehâs friends. âBut she never dared even to talk about it to anyone. Tell your teachers? Theyâll call you a whore. Tell the police? They lock you up and rape you. Better keep your mouth shut.â
Mina sobs as she recalls her friendâs tormented life, but many of these horrendous experiences are everyday facts of life for girls being brought up under a rigid theocratic regime that has institutionalized misogyny in its laws and practices.
âShe sometimes talked about what these âIslamic moral policemenâ did to her while she was in jail. She still had nightmares about that. She said Behshahr Prison was the Hell itself.â
Alijan, a local grocer with graying hair, said many parents did not want Atefeh to socialize with their kids, because they thought she would have a corrupting influence on other young girls.
âWho can blame them?â he said, with a deep sigh. âIn this country, if youâre a man and you go to jail, you can forget about having a future. Now imagine if a girl goes to jail. She was hopeless.â
âI knew this girl very well and she did not deserve what they did to her,â explains a middle-aged woman who once taught Atefeh in the local girlsâ school. âShe was lively, intelligent, and, of course, rebellious. She wouldnât take injustice from anyone. But the authorities here equate these qualities in a girl to prostitution and evil. They wanted to give all the girls and women a lesson.â
Hamid was one of those fathers in the neighborhood who did not want her two daughters to befriend Atefeh, but with hindsight, he feels the guilt of not having done anything to help the girl.
âI think the most devastating event in her life was the death of her mother,â Hamid said. âBefore that, she was a normal girl. Her mother was everything to her. When she died, she had no one to look after her.â
A pharmacist, whose shop is not far away from the Railway Square, where Atefeh was hanged, recalls her final, painful hour. âWhen agents of the State Security Forces brought her to the gallows, I felt cold sweat running down my back. She looked so young and innocent, standing there in the middle of all these bearded men in military fatigues. Judge Rezaâi must have felt a personal grudge against her. He put the rope around her neck and left her dangling on the gallows for 45 minutes. I looked around and everyone in the crowd was sobbing and damning the mullahs for doing this to our young people.â
Atefeh had no access to a lawyer at any stage and her death sentence was upheld by a Supreme Court that is dominated by fundamentalist mullahs. Haji Rezaii, the religious judge, was reportedly so incensed with Atefehâs âsharp tongueâ during the trial that he travelled to Tehran to convince the mullahs of the Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence.
The tragically short life of Atefeh Rajabi its brutal end are a reminder of the plight of millions of girls in a country where, according to state-owned newspapers, 75 percent of the population live below the poverty line, 66 percent of women are victims of some form of domestic violence, and over 70 percent of women suffer from varying degrees of depression. Iran remains, in the words of UN Human Rights Rapporteur Maurice Copithorne, âa prison for women.â
No, it is not.
The "judge" in this case, a sadist who put the noose around the girl's neck himself, ought to be executed.
Capital punishment is sponsored by the following "civilized countries"
Nice collection of civilization.....
More moral relativism and bullshit........
How about "civilized" countries like Japan, Singapore and the Bahamas.
Of course only a LoZZZer would equate the punishment given to Timothy McVeigh with the execution of this young woman.
Hey, Zizi, am I just dreaming, or a bunch of posts in this thread got deleted, including mine? Anyway:
No it is not. Depends on the word's definition, by the way. I don't see anything barbaric in putting a serial killer to sleep forever with 2-3 injections. Do you? I mean letting the victims' relatives stoning him to death, THAT would be barbaric. Comitting the same act against him, that would probably be barbaric too.
But giving him a nice meal and a night-night shot, no that isn't barbaric.
Zzzz caught in another faux pas.....so routine.
Separate names with a comma.