Friday, April 17, 2009

Stop Execution of Delara Darabi

She doesn't have much time, only two days, please help to stop her execution before it's too late.

Delara Darabi, aged 20, is an Iranian girl at the risk of execution for a murder which took place when she was 17 years old. She denies committing the crime. Iran is a state party to international treaties that expressly prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by those under the age of 18. According to Delara the murder of her father's cousin was committed by the 19 year old boyfriend that she was in love with. Delara Darabi initially confessed to the murder, but soon retracted her confession. She claims that Amir Hossein asked her to admit responsibility for the murder to protect him from execution, believing that since she was under the age of 18, she could not be sentenced to death.

Delara Darabi was sentenced to death by a lower court in the northern city of Rasht. The sentence has been upheld by the Iran's Suprerior Court. At this stage the Head of the Judiciary has the power to order a stay of execution and a review of the case. Amir Hossein has reportedly received a prison sentence of 10 years for his involvement in the crime. Amnesty International has made several public statements about Delara. Delara is a talented artist and has used paintings to express her feelings.

Please sign this petition to save her life.

A similar petition was made for another Iranian minor, Nazanin Fatehi who also was facing execution. However After more than 350,000 signatures and worldwide attention she was found innocent and freed from prison in January 31, 2007.

Stop Child Executions has been asking people to send email or fax to head of judiciary and following contacts:

Head of Judiciary of Islamic Republic of Iran
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Phone: [00 98 21] 391 1109
Fax: [00 98 21] 3390 4986

Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations:
Mohammad Khazaee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Tel: (212) 687-2020 / Fax: (212) 867-7086

New additional contact information from Iran judiciary:
[00 98 21 66491152 ]

and here is a sample letter:
Your Excellency Ayatollah Shahroudi,

Delara Darabi, the young artist who has been in Rasht prison for the last 6 years in Iran, is at risk of execution. I understand that her lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshai has been informed that her execution is scheduled in the next few days. He is convinced that if she were to be given a new trial whereby they could re-enact the scene of thecrime, it would be easily proven that Delara is innocent of the alleged murder she was convicted of.

Khoramshahi has said many times that he has new evidence including the crime being committed by a right handed person whereas Delara is left-handed. Many attempts have been made by human rights groups and celebrities to try and get a pardon from the victim's family, however they have said that they want her execution to be carried out.

Please keep in mind that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibit the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18.

In the indicated circumstances, I'd request that she not be executed and be granted a new trial.

Thank you,
(Your name)

Hat tips: Stop child Executions

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Iran torture prisoners

If you ask Iranian judiciary they deny torturing prisoners, in fact not only they deny practicing torture in Iran also they condemn torture and speak against of other countries that practice torture. So what do they practice really?! Nothing really, they torture but they don’t call it torture. They use an Arabic-Islamic word called “Tazir” which refers to punishment instead of “torture”. So simply they don’t torture but they do punish, lash, beat, kick, cut, rape and etc. all happens under definition of “Tazir”.

Bahman Aghai Diba, Ph.D. International Law wrote:

When an interrogator wants to torture a person, especially the political ones, he goes to Mullah Judge (called Hakem-e Shariah) and asks him to give permission for let say inflicting 50 lashes to get confession from the suspects. If that works, it is the mission accomplished. If not, he can go back and get permission from the Mullah Judge for as many and as hard lashings that he likes.

While there is a great difference between a gentle stroke of the lash and the sever strike that gushes blood out of the body of the miserable subjects of torture, there is no criteria or system to administer or observe how the permission of the "Tazir" is implemented. The interrogators implement them as they wish. Sometimes the lashing, especially against women and young prisoners lead to sever injuries, damaging the internal organs and permanent loss of the physical functions.

Hat tips: Rotten Gods: Islamic Iran Tortures Activists, Tazir: the Islamic Torture in Iran

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Torture in Iran; Ahmad Batebi’s story

Preview of the interview

Ahmad Batebi who gained international fame for appearing on the cover of The Economist magazine July 17, 1999 holding a bloody T-shirt of a fellow student demonstrator – over that image Batebi arrested and sentenced to death. After international and domestic outcry, his sentence reduced to 15 years prison term.

Now that he is safe in the U.S. let’s hear this story from himself on 60 Minutes program on Sunday.

Update: Check out the full interview in Iran torture prisoners