About the Case
On January 3, 2006, Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi was sentenced to death for murder by court in Iran after she stabbed one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 15-year-old niece in a park in Karaj (a suburb of Tehran) in March 2005. She was seventeen years old at the time. Iran is signatory to international treaties, which forbid them to execute anyone under the age of 18; however they continue to do so.
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. With many speeches and rallies worldwide and months on the media circuit, over 345,000 signatures were collected and delivered to the United Nations and Iranian Officials. Nazanin and Mina Ahadi, the head of the International Committee Against Execution, managed to engage Amnesty International, Canadian Members of Parliament, the European Union and the United Nations and others to put pressure on the Iranian Officials to spare the life of this child. Nazanin also hosted a compelling documentary entitled "The Tale of Two Nazanins," funded and produced by the Calvin Ayre Foundation.
Following pressure from the International community, on June 1st 2006, the Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi announced a stay of execution and the call for a complete new retrial.
During the new trial on January 10, 2007, the five judges presiding over the case found inconsistencies with the testimonies of the male witnesses and unanimously ruled out premeditated murder and determined that the act was a case of self-defense. As a result Nazanin Fatehi was exonerated from the charge of murder. While two judges wanted her to be freed unconditionally, three of the judges ruled that disproportionate force was used and requested her to pay "diyeh" (blood money) to compensate the family of the deceased. Fatehi's lawyers Shadi Sadr and Mr. Mostafaei vehemently oppose this payment and have since appealed, but in order for there not to be any delays or additional time served, Nazanin was given the option to pay a set bail of 400,000,000 Rials (approx US$43,000).
The Fatehi family, which includes six children, is extremely poor and was unable to meet this payment. Thanks to $32,000 USD in on-line donations to the Nazanin Fatehi Trust Fund here at helpnazanin.com, $1,000 USD collected in Iran and an extremely generous donation by Member of Canadian Parliament Belinda Stronach who covered the rest of the bail, payment was made to the courts in Iran. A few days later, Nazanin was released from prison and had an emotional reunion with her family. While she could hardly speak and in tears of happiness , she said: "The only thing I can say now is that I am extremely happy. It is as if I am born again. I want to thank everyone who helped make my freedom possible and I want to say that I love you all from the bottom of my heart".
Please continue to spread the word about her case and the plight of other women in similar circumstances such as Delara Darabi, Kobra Rahmanpour, Ashraf Kalhori, Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh, Malak Ghorbani and continue to pressure the Iranian Government to give these women a fair trial.
Visit the What You Can Do section and write a letter to the Iranian Officials to end the execution of children and teenagers. Iran is signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Charter of the Rights of the Child, which forbid them to execute anyone under the age of 18; however they continue to do so. There are 23 other minors on death row at the moment in Iran. We must now get to the root of the problem and put pressure on the Iranian officials to change the laws once and for all. One recommended site started by Iranian women’s rights activist is the campaign : “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws" at http://www.we-change.org/spip.php?article19.
Having only a grade 3 education, Nazanin Fatehi said that her dream is to go to school and study hard. If you would like to make a contribution to the Nazanin Fatehi Trust Fund, please visit the Donations section.
Thank you to every individual person for their support,compassion and role in saving a human life,
Nazanin Afshin-Jam & Team at HelpNazanin.com
"If you can, you must"
"Si vous pouvez, vous devez"