Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists
An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.
The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing 1 of 3 men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.
Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the 2 girls' boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.
She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.
As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.
The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death. Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging. Darabi has denied the charges.
In August 2004, Iran's Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing "acts incompatible with chastity."
The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Talk about wrongful convictions
From yesterday's edition of Iran Focus: