For the latest updates about Nazanin Fatehi and the 70+ other minors on death row in Iran please go to www.stopchildexecutions.com. There you can sign the petition to put a permanent end to child executions and save the life of minors who are in an imminent situation of being executed by hanging or by stoning.
Today Nazanin Afshin-Jam spoke with Nazanin Fatehi and reported that she sound "extremely happy". Nazanin Fatehi has registered at school and will start school after the Persian New Year Holidays. Her attorney, Mr. Mostafaei visited her and provided her with household items including a telephone and television for her new house. She sounded very much adjusted and happy to have her new found freedom. She said that sometimes her old inmates phone her and ask her what freedom feels like and want her to explain everything that is going on for the Persian New Year. They really miss her.
When asked about her her experiences in prison, Nazanin revealed that it was an extremely hard time for her in prison. She said most of the women were really nervous and stressed all the time. Most of them had lost hope and were waiting to die. She said that when she first received the news of her execution she became out of control and broke a lamp in her prison. For this she was sent to solitary confinement for months. She said that while she was in solitary confinement sometimes the guards would check up on her as the prisoners were supposed to be asleep by 10pm. Whenever they saw that Nazanin was still awake, the next morning they would take her to "hefazat" (protection division) and they would beat her, sometimes with electric chains. She still has marks from this brutality. When she was in solitary confinement she said it was very cold and she had to sleep on the ground sometimes with no blanket and so now she has back problems.
When she was released from prison she had visited the law offices of Mr. Mostafaei and Shadi Sadr and she is now excited of the prospect of one day becoming a lawyer and fighting injustice.
"With the strength and hope in her voice I believe it could happen." Nazanin Afshin-Jam said.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Stop Child Executions Campaign wish a happy and healthy Iranian New Year to Nazanin Fatehi and her family. www.stopchildexecutions.com
A Women's Rights group, Carzareh Zanan, who have supported the Save Nazanin Campaign, organized a rally a few days ago in support of International Women's Day. Here is the message I wrote in support of their rally:
Dear Jamileh, CARZAREH ZANAN, and guests,
It is only by speaking aloud about the human rights injustices that are taking place in Iran, especially for women that we will be able to make advancements.
Civilizations are supposed to move forward in enlightened thought and progress, so why is it that Iran has returned to the dark ages and has suppressed women's rights and freedoms? Iran had passed the women's emancipation laws in 1935, why is there no longer gender equality?
Why can't women become judges or run for presidency? Why are women forced to wear hijab? Why must women ask for permission from their husbands or fathers to travel and obtain a passport? Why are women regarded as half citizens and their lives worth half that of a man under Sharia Law? Why are women still being stoned for adultery or lashed for having encounters with the opposite sex? Why are women in Iran being beaten with batons and thrown in jail for gathering in peaceful rallies to demand these rights?
The least we can do outside of Iran, like here in Canada, is make use of our rights and freedoms and speak on behalf of the voiceless. Support the heroes from within the country who are speaking up under great risk. We must spread awareness and become sisters in the campaign that was started by a group of women's rights activists called "One million signatures to end Discriminatory laws in Iran".
Congratulations for coming out today, without people like you there would be no change. By gathering together we were able to save Nazanin Fatehi, the young 17 year old girl who was on death row for having defended herself from three men who attempted to rape her and her 15 year old niece. We must now help all "Nazanins". Drop by drop we can create an ocean of change and end the discriminatory laws that exist in Iran.
If we can, we must.
Exactly two years ago, 17 year old Nazanin Fatehi faced the horror of three men who attempted to rape her and her niece. At first she was wrongfully sentenced to death by hanging. With much international outcry she was given a retrial where the five judges unanimously recognized that the act was unintentional and one of self defence. Nazanin’s life was saved and she was released from prison.
There are currently over 25 minors on death row in Iran. Alongside lawyers in Iran, Amnesty International, human rights groups and individuals we have started a huge campaign to permenantly end child executions. Instead of trying to save one life at a time, we must concentrate our energy towards solving the problem from the root and changing the laws in Iran regarding executions of those who have allegedly committed an offence before the age of 18.
We have created www.stopchildexecutions.com to keep you updated on individuals who are up for execution and provide solutions on how you can help. Please join the campaign. Together we can make a difference.
Fifty women's rights activists were arrested in front of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran including one of Nazanin Fatehi’s lawyers Shadi Sadr.
The security police forces attacked a peaceful gathering of women's rights activists that had taken place at 8:30 am in front of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in objection to the recent governmental oppressions and the summoning of some of these activists. The police forces used violence to scatter the crowd. Shadi Sadr was sent to Evin prison (the same prison where Nazanin Fatehi was held). A woman’s rights group is gathering petition signature at http://www.meydaan.com/English/petition.aspx?cid=52&pid=11.
Campaign to discontinue teen executions moved up notch:
During my February speaking tour, I received an email titled "VERY URGENT" from an unknown sender named Ali Alinejad. I was shocked to learn from Ali that his brother Reza had been imprisoned for 5 years and was now facing imminent execution for a murder he claims he committed in self-defence when he was 17 years old. I had not heard of this case and it was not reported with Amnesty International. I immediately forwarded the message to Nazanin Fatehi’s lawyer Mr. Mostafaei to see if he could help in any way. After reviewing the file, Mr. Mostafaei agreed to take on Reza’s case.
This week Mr. Mostafai sent me a letter he had written to Ayatollah Shahroudi, head of judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, asking for an appeal and re-trial. In his plea, Mr. Mostafaei explains that Reza was eating with his friend on the sidewalk, in the city of Shiraz, when they were approached by two men who started harassing them with profanities. They proceeded to attack Reza and his friend with Nunchaku (a Japanese weapon used in marshal arts). Reza's friend testified that the two attackers had surrounded them and they were not able to run away. Reza was seriously injured by a blow to the head. While Reza was defending himself, one of the two attackers was stabbed and killed. Another person who had witnessed what had happened testified that Reza was defending himself. The friend of the man who was killed also testified that the fight was initiated by them and that they attacked Reza and his friend with Nunchaku.
In his letter, attorney Mr. Mostafaei, concluded that the murder was unintentional. He stressed that due to the fact that Reza was only 17 years old at the time of offence, he should not be executed because Iran is signatory to UN covenants that prohibit the executions of minors for alleged crimes committed below the age 18.
Reza is one of dozens of minors on death row sentenced by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Reza needs your help. According to Mr. Mostafaei, he only has one month to live.
Please write a letter to Iranian head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi asking for a stay of execution and a fair re-trial.
Head of the Judiciary,
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Justice Ministry BLDG. - Panzdah-Khordad (ARK) Sq.
(In the email subject line write: URGENT LETTER TO AYATOLLAH HASHEMI SHAHROUDI )
Comment box through his website:
(The fields are written in Persian. The first line is for your name, 2nd your email, 3rd the subject which should read 'URGENT LETTER TO AYATOLLAH HASHEMI SHAHROUDI' and 4th field is for your comments)
Nazanin Fatehi is very concerned for the other women in prison who claim their innocence. Nazanin once said in her interview “Don’t just help me, help all Nazanins”.
One young woman who is in desperate need of your help is 20-year-old Delara Darabi. She was sentenced to death at age 17 and after various hearings, the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran has upheld her sentence and she is now in imminent risk of execution. Delara maintains her innocence.
Delara is a talented artist and has used paintings to express her feelings. The prison has taken away her art supplies and has been extremely hard on her. As a result she has become emaciated (35 kg) and has attempted suicide. Please help spread awareness, sign the petition and follow the same steps you have taken to help Nazanin Fatehi in the “what you can do" section of helpnazanin.com.
Sign the Petition:
Learn more about Delara:
To see some of Delara’s paintings created in prison:
Write your comments and letters to Delara:
Amnesty International report:
I spoke with Nazanin Fatehi this morning and she was in great spirits and was laughing a lot. She said that she is being showered with love and affection from her family and she is very happy. She says that even when she goes out she has an entourage of family members who do not want to leave her side. She would like to start school as soon as possible. She said that eventually she would like to become a lawyer. Along with Nazanin’s family, and lawyer Mr Mostafaie, we are exploring various options so that her future will be happy safe and fruitful.
Nazanin and Mina continue their speaking tour in Frankfurt.
Nazanin and Mina speak in Gothenburg.
Nazanin and Mina met with Member of Swedish Parliament Brigitta Ohlssun about human rights related issues in Iran. They introduced a motion for the Swedish Parliament to put pass to put the needed pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to abolish death penalty for those who have allegedly committed an offence before the age of 18.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has been invited by the International Committee Against Execution to speak with Mina Ahadi about the Save Nazanin Campaign and the future plans to help abolish the death penalty of minors in Iran. They are doing a speaking tour and media circuit in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Frankfurt.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam is a guest speaker at the European Union in Brussels ata women's rights conference entitled ""Harmful Traditional Practices and the Empowerment of Women". Nazanin and Mina present the European Parliament a Motion for a Resolution to end Executions of Juveniles in Iran. This will be in circulation in Strasbourg in the next week.
Listen to her short Radio interview in persian.
These are Nazanin's replies to the questions:
"I was very happy to be free and my freedom is like a new birthday.
When taken in to custody I did not think that I would end up being imprisoned for almost three years. I was innocent but the judge did not believe me and it wasn't until the re-trial that the witnesses told the truth and judges believed me.
When I heard the news of my death sentence I was devastated. I wished to die than being executed.
While in prison I received some news of the activities for my freedom. If it wasn't for all the efforts on my behalf, I would not have been released. I thank Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Mina Ahadi for their efforts as well as everyone who worked so hard to gain my freedom. I also thank everyone who made donations to make the payment of the bail possible. I wish I could do something in return but there is not much that I am capable of doing at this time.
There are so many innocent inmates in prison but there is nothing that they can do. Many innocent people have been in prison for few years and still unsure of their cases outcome. Shahla Jaahed, Zahra and many others there were sentenced to death.
I am hopeful that they all be freed with the efforts from outside. They also are hopeful that their innocence be also proven so they too can be free.
I want me and my sisters to study and finish school.
Thank you so much."
Translations by David Etebari
Nazanin Afshin-Jam met with former Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi to discuss human rights issues in Iran. Also in attendance was Amir Abbas Fakhravar leader of the Confederation of Independent Iranian Students.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam is a guest speaker on the discussion about "Women's rights in Perspective in Iran" organized by SFU Amnesty Club and SFU Persian Club. Other guests included "The Tale of Two Nazanins" director Hossein Fazeli, and second unit director Maryam Najafi and Human Rights lawyer Negar Azmudeh
Feb 2: Guest speaker on discussion about "Women's rights in Perspective in Iran" organized by SFU Amnesty Club and SFU Persian Club
Feb 4: Voice of America and Radio Farda interview in Washington DC and the Conservative Voice.
Click Here to view VOA Interview
Click Here to view Conservative Voice article
Feb 7: Guest speaker at the European Union's conference on "Harmful Traditional Practices and the Empowerment of Women"
Feb 7: Nazanin and Mina Ahadi present the European Parliament Motion for a Resolution on Executions of Juveniles in Iran 2007
Feb 8-11: Nazanin on European Speaking Tour in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Frankfurt
I spoke with Nazanin Fatehi for the first time ever yesterday while she was celebrating her release with her family and friends. With a sweet soft voice, she couldn't stop saying how happy she was to be reunited with her family and how thankful she was to everyone who helped her gain her freedom. I asked her what she wanted to do from now on, and she said that aside from spending time with her family, she wants to have the opportunity to go to school and study hard. She said she also wants to help some of the other innocent women who were in prison with her to gain their freedom.
Nazanin had a very emotional reunion with her family members. She could not believe that this day had arrived. She cried in her mothers arms and took turns embracing her siblings and father.
After she finished greeting her family, Nazanin's lawyer Mr. Mostafaei said that she told him that she now wants to go to school and study hard to get her life back. Soon after, Mr. Mostafaei got a phone call from some of Nazanin's inmates saying that they missed her already.
More details to follow.
Thirty people including Nazanin Fatehi's family and lawyer waited for two hours outside the prison gates with flowers in hand to greet Nazanin.
Despite the fact that Nazanin's lawyer Mr. Mostafaei had the signed court documents in hand for her release, the prison administrator said there were oustanding issues from the transfer from her previous prison Rajaei-Shahr in Karaj to Evin prison in Tehran where she is now. Due to National holidays in Iran on Monday and Tuesday, the lawyer expects her get her out on Wednesday.
Thanks to $31,000 USD in on-line donations, $1,000 USD in cheques, $1,000 USD collected in Iran and an extemely generous donation by Member of Canadian Parliament Belinda Stronach who covered the rest of the bail, we have managed to pay the total 400 million Rials (approx $43,000 USD) requested bail payment by the courts in Iran.
Nazanin’s lawyer Mr. Mostafaei is completing all of the paper work necessary for Nazanin’s release. If all goes as planned, she should be free tomorrow, Sunday January 28th. A small congratulatory reception has been organized by her lawyers to celebrate her freedom.
Nazanin Fatehi and her family are ecstatic that she will be home soon. They kept repeating how grateful and thankful they are to everyone that has helped them along the way.
There are still outstanding expenses, so please make a donation on the Donations page and check back later for more details and information.
Nazanin's mother spoke to Nazanin by phone and said that she is in good spirits. Normally in prison when Nazanin would hear her name called over the loud speakers she feared that at any moment someone was going to take her to be executed. She says now she is not afraid anymore.
According to Etemaad Newspaper in Iran, which also reported Nazanin's original death sentence in January 2006, three out of the five judges in Nazanin's retrial have ordered that dieh "blood money" be paid to the family of the man who was killed, although the other two had recommended Nazanin's unconditional freedom.
Nazanin's lawyers intend to appeal the payment of blood money, but since this appeal may take several months, they have also requested bail so that Nazanin may be released from prison immediately. The court has set bail at 400,000,000 rials (over US$40,000).
Because Nazanin's family is very poor and unable to make payment of the bail or blood money, immediate financial assistance is required to secure Nazanin's release from prison.
Please visit the Donations section. Details to follow.
This is the translation of the full text of an article and interview that was published in Iranian newspaper Etemaad January 16 2007:
She has not seen her home for three years. She has not smelled the Persian New Year vegetable rice for three years, nor been embraced by her father at the turn of the new years. Young Nazanin has spent three years of her life imprisoned while only imagining how her family celebrated the Iranian New Year (March 21). On the other side of the bars, there had not been a sign of happiness in Nazanin's home either.
Her mother's share has only been anxiety and worries about her young daughter. Every night she had the same nightmare of how they were dragging her young daughter to the execution pole. But now everyone knows that with the recent court ruling, Nazanin can live and again think about her future. She can once more think about the good things in life.
Miseries were never ready to leave Nazanin alone. She was only 17 when she had to assume the responsibility of her 15-year-old niece. The memories of that bitter day will never be wiped of the eyes of this young girl. That day, while defending herself and her 15-year-old step-niece, she killed a young man. The dark and heavy shadow of miseries was not yet ready to leave Nazanin alone. Why life has never been accommodating to her? Why in addition to dealing with family poverty, she also had to try to heal the wounds of her niece?
- "Samayeh's body had been burnt with hot spoons. There were wound marks on her body. She only had me to listen to her. When Sameyeh would wake up disturbed in the middle of the nights, she would put her head on my chest to cry. But Sameyeh was more fortunate than I, because at least she could share her sorrow with someone and I could not. I had to endure all the hardships quietly. I could not go to school because my father was very poor. I could not wear nice clothes, because we had problem even feeding ourselves. I never understood that if I was not meant to have a share of this world why was I created? What was I being punished for? When can I taste the true meanings of living? Until when should I look thought the space between the prison bars in search of a sense of freedom? Until when?" Nazanin said.
1. Where did you live?
I was born in Karaj in 1988 (1366 Iranian Calendar) and now I am resident of the township called Sohrabieh in Karaj. My father used to work for the Army but he is now retired. My mother is a housewife. I am the eldest of the family and I have 4 sisters, the smallest one is 12 years old. I have two brothers one is 15 and one is 3 years old.
2. How is your family’s financial situation?
No one is working in our family. My siblings cannot go to school because we are too poor. We had a very hard upbringing and we live in a rental place.
3. What is your level of education?
I studied up to 3rd grade and I could not continue because of my family’s financial situation.
4. What is your opinion of the verdict?
I am innocent. I didn’t mean to kill Yousef. Now I am worried that I won’t be able to pay “dieh” (blood money). My family does not have any money. The only way I will be able to pay “dieh” is through the help of others.
5. How are the conditions in prison?
I had a very hard time in prison, especially when I was in previous prison (Rajayi shahr). These years I have spent in prison felt like ten years but I had to bear it.
6. Did you ever think you would be free from prison one day?
I never thought I would get out of prison, for that reason I just had to bear it. Freedom for me was an unattainable dream.
7. What is your plan after you are free?
I want to be with my family and I never want to leave them ever again. In the time I have been in prison I have realized how difficult it is to live without my family: my mother, brother, sisters and father. If I can I want to study and then work along with them.
8. What is the meaning of life for you?
(While Nazanin heavily cries she says;)
Life was so hard no one would ever be able to understand. I have had such a miserable time that you could not imagine. Some have everything and say, “life is difficult” and so us, without anything, what should we say? I have a lot of things to say but I want to keep it to myself and later I want to share it only with my mother.
9. What do you feel towards the family of the deceased?
I am very sad for the death of Youssef but even last Thursday I gave out “dates’ in prison. Everyone was surprised with why I am doing this. I was not guilty for the death of Youssef, it was his own fault. If he didn’t bother me I wouldn’t have had anything to do with him.
(***Note: Dates or other sweets are often given out as alms for remembering the dead as a sort of good omen)
10. Do you think after you are free you are going to have a normal life?
Perhaps when I am out of prison people will see me as a murderer. This really bothers me and whenever I think about it I cry.
Please help free Nazanin from prison. Please make a Donation by Clicking Here.
The following is a Public Statement released by Amnesty International titled "Iran: Quashing of child offender’s death sentence highlights need for urgent legal reform":
Go to http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130022007 to view the news release.
"Five judges reviewed her case, and all of them admitted that what Fatehi did was only self defense," said one of Fatehi's lawyers, Mohammad Mostafaei. "She just defended herself and her niece to avoid rape."
Mostafaei said he expected the court would sentence Fatehi — in accordance with Islamic law — to pay blood money to the family of the man.
Mostafaei said the court set Fatehi's bail at 400,000,000 rials or about US$45,000, and he would meet with her on Tuesday. He asked people to help collect money for Fatehi's bail to help get her released from custody.
In an interview with Persian speaking "radio international" Maryam Fatehi, Nazanin's mother said: "I know how hard each of you have worked to bring Nazanin home and I am grateful to all of you. Nazanin's father and siblings are very happy too. You brought us the only one wish that we had: freedom of our daughter. May God give all of you, our brothers and sisters health and happiness for all that you have done."
Translated by: David Etebari
On Sunday the news of Nazanin Fatehi's exoneration gained the number 2 most active myspace "news and politics" blog and the 4th most active blog among more than 400,000 blogs in all catagories. To date, Nazanin Fatehi's myspace page has been visisted 73,000 times worldwide. In an effort to raise awareness and to gain freedom for Nazanin Fatehi, many myspace members have substituted Nazanain Fatehi's ptofile photo for their own.
If you would like to write a personal message for Nazanin Fatehi so that she can read once she is released please go to:
Many have been writing poems and songs for Nazanin including: Brent Daniel.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Mina Ahadi spoke with Nazanin Fatehi's lawyers today regarding her retrial that took place on January 10th 2007.
They have received verbal confirmation from the court that she will be exonerated from the charge of murder. The incident that took place in March 2005 has been recognized as an act of self-defense, however the court has ruled that disproportionate force was used by Nazanin while trying to defend herself and her 15-year old niece. Accordingly, they have asked Nazanin to pay “dieh” (blood money) to receive a pardon from the family of the deceased. Once this amount is paid, Nazanin can be released from prison.
Shadi Sadr and Mr. Mostafaei, Nazanin Fatehi's laywers, are appealing this blood money because they believe that Nazanin is innocent for acting in self-defense and therefore she should not have to pay any money. Unfortunately, this appeal may take several months, so in the meantime arrangements may be made to have Nazanin released from prison by paying “bail” money into court.
Formal documentation should be available within days, including further details and specifics like the cost of bail and the cost of blood money.
Nazanin Fatehi wanted to pass on her appreciation to everyone who has been helping and supporting her. The day after her trial Nazanin phoned her mother and told her that it was the first time she was able to sleep well. From the reports coming back from Iran, it seems that Nazanin and her family were happy with the way her trial went.
Thank you to everyone who has been sending me such kind messages of encouragement and your eagerness to help. Nazanin Fatehi’s written verdict has not been provided. It is anticipated to be given next week; therefore, it is not too late to have your voice heard. Go to the “what you can do” section. I am sorry that I am not able to answer all your individual posts at the moment as you can imagine it is quite a hectic time.
Iranian Student Committee of Human Rights report of Nazanin Fatehi’s trial on January 10th 2007:
Translated by David Etebari from http://www.cyrusnews.com/news/fa/?mi=6=18764
********NOTE: This report has not yet been confirmed by Nazanin’s lawyers
What happened in court?
The court started at 12:30 pm with a 2-hour delay. Presiding over the trial were four Judges. The four witnesses present were the two boys who were initially with Nazanin and her niece on the day of the incident as well as the two attackers (friends of the man who is deceased). Both families were also present.
After district attorneys read the request for Nazanin Fatehi's death sentence to be commuted, the judges asked the four witnesses to proceed and explain the details of what occurred on that day.
During the hearing, the panel of judges seemed outraged by the conflicting testimonies of the four male witnesses.
Thereafter, Nazanin’s first attorney, Mr. Mostafaei proceeded with his defense:
1. He said that the incident occurred in the quiet side roads in the city of Karaj - a suburb of Iran’s capital Tehran - on a winter day at 2 pm. As such, he said it was an environment where such an occurrence could take place.
2. He said that Nazanin's niece was only 14-years-old at the time of the incident with a history of mental disorder. She had ran away from home in the past and therefore her 17-year-old aunt Nazanin felt responsible for the well being of her younger niece.
3. The defense went on to say that the conflicting testimony of the four male witnesses was proof of Nazanin's innocence.
4. The defence referred back to Nazanin's prior court testimony. He reminded the court that at the time of the incident the prime attacker who was later killed pulled Nazanin off of the motorcycle, pulled her head covering and started touching her breasts. Nazanin warned him that if he did not let her go, she would stab him with the knife that she pulled out but the attackers took Nazanin’s niece Somayeh and forcefully removed her head covering and jacket too. The defence said “any other girl faced with this situation would also have been frightened"
5. The defense stated that there was no evidence of anyone else being present in the vicinity. He said, "How was it expected of Nazanin to leave her niece, whose clothes were partially removed, alone at the scene with 5 men and seek police help?" He ended his defense and said: "If we start punishing those who bravely defend themselves, we weaken such spirit in the society"
II) Afterwards Nazanin's second attorney, Ms. Shadi Sadr started her defense, which seemed to have greatly influenced the audience.
In Nazanin’s previous hearing, the Judge had said that Nazanin could not have been defending her honour and chastity- as she so claimed- because medical reports showed that she was no longer a virgin. Ms. Sadr explained to the court that Nazanin had already been raped once at the age of 15 and the physical marks from this occurrence had also been verified by the court physicians. She said that Nazanin had filed this tragic experience with the police but it was totally disregarded. She said, "When 17 year-old Nazanin was faced with the same difficult situation, she refused to be another victim of rape nor could she allow her younger niece to experience the same horror". She said " If the judges visit Nazanin's home which is located in one the poorest neighborhoods of city of Karaj they would understand that everyday Nazanin is obliged to walk through bare and deserted lots to get home where at anytime she could face an attacker. Therefore, it is considered very logical that she would carry a knife for self defense, especially after her prior difficult life experiences."
The prosecutor in his cross-examination reminded the court that in the previous hearing the judges had determined that the murder was intentional because even if it were considered self-defence the degree was not proportional. He stated that the defense attorneys are making their arguments in reference to defense of
b)PROPERTY AND c)CHASTITY, but since the first two claims are not on file this only leaves c)self-defense of her chastity. He then went on to say: “How could a girl who goes to such a deserted location with two boys be so sensitive about her honor?"
The defence responded to the prosecutor’s comments, which was interrupted by shouting of the family of the deceased to the extent that they went to attack Nazanin's family and were forced out of court.
Regardless of the commotion, Nazanin's family seemed content with how the hearing went. The judges adjourned the court.
****Note: None of the above testimony has been confirmed by Nazanin’s lawyers. Although they are hopeful, they say to remain cautious until the final written verdict is announced. It is believed that this should be given sometime next week.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has a series of news interviews on Jan. 11 raising awareness about Nazanin Fatehi and her retrial.
Thursday, Jan. 11/07 – (5:30am PST) - Global (Quebec)
Thursday, Jan. 11/07 - (8:30pm PST) - Markazi TV - Havaye Tazeh
A series of photos have been released from Nazanin Fatehi's Trial:
Source APTN (Associated Press)
The court proceedings were supposed to begin at 10:30 local time (07:00 GMT). There was a 2-hour delay due to the massive interest (there were over 200 people cramming to get into the courthouse).
Proceedings, as a result, were carried out in an adjacent amphitheatre. There were four judges presiding over the hearings plus Nazanin's two lawyers. Nazanin's lawyers did most of the speaking, but she presented her side of the story briefly as well.
The court's decision: what Nazanin did was not premeditated murder. The judges added that the previous court's verdict was partly based on unreliable and inaccurate testimony.
The court did not go as far as staying the execution today. But the family expects a formal letter to that effect in the coming days.
Despite the absence of a formal repudiation today, this is very positive news, no doubt, and the family is quite hopeful.
Nazanin's lawyer, Shadi Sadr, said that we must remain cautious until the written verdict is provided in a few days time. Until we receive the written verdict in hand, we encourage everyone to sign the petition and spread awareness of the situation.
The following newspapers have recently profiled the Nazanin Fatehi case:
North American Press:
- Global National
- Toronto Sun
- Digital Journal
- Vive Le Canada
- Edmonton Journal
- Montreal Gazette
- Ottawa Citizen
- News Blaze
- Regina Leader-Post
- New Zealand Herald
- The Independent
- Register (UK)
- SR International
- Spiegel Online
- VG Nett
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has a series of news interviews on Jan. 10 raising awareness about Nazanin Fatehi and her retrial.
Tuesday, Jan. 10/07 – (5:30am PST) - CBC Radio Canada - French
Tuesday, Jan. 10/07 – (6:40am PST) - CBC Radio - Early Edition with Rick Cluff)
Tuesday, Jan. 10/07 - (7:00am PST) - Global Morning (National)
Tuesday, Jan. 10/07 - (8:00am PST) - BBC's Outlook
Tuesday, Jan. 10/07 - (9:00am PST) - Fox News Live with Martha MacCallum (National)
Tuesday, Jan. 10/07 - (1:00pm PST) - Global National with Kevin Newman
Click Here to download H.E. Farah Pahlavi's letter to Ban Ki-moon.
For those who may have low-speed connections and are unable to view the documentary on www.bodog.tv, it is also now available on Nazanin's and can be viewed in the embedded player below:
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has a series of news interviews today raising awareness about Nazanin Fatehi and her retrial.
Tuesday, Jan. 9/07 – (4:40am PST) - CTV - Canada AM
Tuesday, Jan. 9/07 – (5:25am PST) - CBC – Morning Show (National)
Tuesday, Jan. 9/07 - (4:00pm and 7:00pm PST) - Glenn Beck Show (CNN Headline News)
Tuesday, Jan. 9/07 - (5:30pm PST) - CBC French with Dominique Levesque
Tuesday, Jan. 9/07 - (6:30pm PST) - CHQR Radio Calgary - "The World Tonight" with Rob Breakenridge
Also, the largest newspaper in Norway has published the story of Nazanin in Verdens Gang : http://www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=152075
Nazanin Afshin-Jam was featured on the cover of today's Province in an article called "Ex-Miss World Canada works to free Iranian on death row who killed rapist". To read the article click here.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has a series of news interviews today raising awareness about Nazanin Fatehi and her retrial.
9:00AM PST - Voice Of America (Persian)
10:30AM PST - CFUN Radio - The Nic and Val Show - Vancover
3:00PM PST - MTV Canada
5:00PM PST - 940AM Montreal Radio "The Last Angry Man" with Beryl Wajsmann
6:00PM PST - BBC World Radio (UK)
7:30PM PST - KRSI Radio (LA)
8:00PM PST - Persian Entertainment Network
Stay tuned for more networks and times to be announced for Tuesday, January 9th.
An article by Martin Croucher was published in the Independent called "Retrial for girl due to hang for killing rapist".
Click Here to read the article.
The February issue of Seventeen Magazine that features a profile on the case of Nazanin Fatehi is out on news stands and is generating a lot of support among youth.
"The Tale of Two Nazanins" is a documentary about the struggle of 17-year-old Nazanin Fatehi on death row and the struggle of Nazanin Afshin-Jam and others to save her life. It features Nazanin's family in Iran and an emotional phone conversation with Nazanin Fatehi from her prison. This is a CALL TO ACTION so please send this link to everyone you know. We only have a few days left before her retrial which takes place on January 10th.
Visit www.bodog.tv to view the documentary. (Click enlarge to view in full screen)
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has sent out an appeal to Iran's Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi, Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad urging them to release Nazanin Fatehi.
A documentary on the case of Nazanin Fatehi is being made and will be aired the first week of January 2007. This is among our last attempts to raise awareness and encourage others to help her before her trial takes place on January 10th. Please check back at the end of December to find out when and where it will be aired.
As we are nearing Nazanin Fatehi's retrial, Nazanin is very scared and cries a lot in her prison cell. She said "I am innocent, I am tired of being here, I want to come out and see my mother, see my family". Nazanin said that her inmates calm her down and tell her that she does not have anything to worry about because her case has received worldwide attention. This brings some comfort to Nazanin but naturally this young woman fears for her life.
Nazanin is a victim of the embedded discrimanatory laws that exist under Sharia Law in Iran.
Iranian women’s rights activists have initiated a campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law. It is called “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws". Please help support their campaign, click on the follwing link and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign the petition:
For more information:
http://www.we-change.org/spip.php?rubrique9 (in English)
http://www.we-change.org (in Persian)
http://we-change.org/spip.php?article225 (about Nazanin)
David Etebari, creator of has creatively put together a compilation collage of Nazanin's case using the Persian Prince's rap song about Nazanin Fatehi. Please pass it along and share it with others.
Vincent Manoury who has been working diligently on the Save Nazanin campaign had writen a letter asking for support for Nazanin Fatehi from the President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade. A couple days ago he received an answer of official support from the Presidency of Senegal for the women who have been sentenced to death in Iran. President Wade is known for having had the death penalty abolished in his own country.
Nazanin's mother spoke with Nazanin and said that she is more upbeat and hopeful. She works 3-4 hours a day, which she says, keeps her occupied and happier. She no longer has to take anxiety pills. Her mother has even noticed that she has gained back some weight and seems healthier in general. Nazanin said that her cellmates reassure her that she shouldn't be worried about the outcome of her retrial because of all the international pressure that has been exerted on her behalf. She lives off this hope.
Nazanin's mother Maryam was kind enough to share some photos with us.
Nazanin's next trial date is on January 10th, 2007 (20th of Dey 1385 in the Iranian calendar).
Nazanin Afshin-Jam appears on Global National's "Everyday Hero" segment which airs tonight at 5:30 PST. She discusses with host Kevin Newman about the plight of young Nazanin Fatehi in Iran.
Nazanin's Global National's "Everyday Hero" segment is available to view below:
Nazanin's mother Maryam says that Nazanin has lost a lot of weight and says that her entire face looks very different. She says that while Nazanin has adjusted a little bit more in her new prison, she is still sad and scared. Her inmates say that she wakes up screaming in the middle of the night with nightmares about execution.
Nazanin says that she has been told that in order to get proper visitation rights she will be required to do labour work; therefore, she intends to work for a week so that she can see and speak to her mother face to face.
During her speech, Nazanin Afshin-Jam uses Nazanin Fatehi's story as a case study to illustrate the embedded discrimination that exists under Iran's Sharia Law during a woman's rights conference held in Montreal. The conference was put on by President of the Public Affairs Institute of Montreal Mr. Beryl Wajsman.
Nazanin is not happy in her new prison. She is in a cell with over a dozen women. She says that she doesn't feel at peace because at any given time when she wants to rest, some women are talking, some are fighting, some are smoking. There are drug addicts in her cell that disturb the peace. In her previous prison, they were 2 or 3 in one cell at one time.
Nazanin has been quite cold, so thanks to your donations we have sent some funds to her family to purchase some extra clothes and blankets for her. Most of the women in her cell are much older and have been in prison for years. Nazanin's mother was wondering if they could move her to a cell with girls closer to her age. While this is unlikely, we will still try and ask her lawyer if she can make this possible.
On October 8th bewteen 12 - 2 PM, Amnesty International is organizing a great event for the World Day Against Death Penalty. This year they are concentrating on executions of child offenders in Iran.
They will put up eight gallow in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin with the names and ages of eight juvenile offenders who were executed last year. They have produced postcards addressed to the Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi highlighting the case of Shahram Pourmansouri who is still in danger of execution.
I will be a speaker at this event and I will ask the public to cut the cards down with scissors, thus sybollically cutting off the offeder from the noose and gallows. I will speak about Nazanin Fatehi and I will cut her board down from the gallows to show my attempts at helping save her life.
If you live in or around Berlin please join us and support all those minors who are up for imminent execution in Iran.
Amnesty International Deutschland
Report by Amnesty International:
Today 10 people were detained while demonstrating peacefully outside the United Nations office in Tehran. They were protesting against the expected imminent execution of several women, including Kobra Rahmanpour, Fatemeh Haghighat-pajouh, Nazanin Fathehi and Shahla Jahed. Those arrested are reported to have included Shahin Zaynali and Ali Davoudi, both students at Esfahan University, but as yet this is not confirmed.
Those arrested may have been taken to Police Station 128 in Gholhak and may have been released later in the day after signing undertakings about their future actions.
Amnesty International has issued Urgent Actions on behalf of all these women currently under sentence of death.
There were also simultaneous demonstrations in Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and London.
On Sunday Septermber 24th at 5:00 PM the families of Kobra Rahmanpour, Fatemeh Haghighat-Pazhoh, Nazanin Fatehi and Shahla Jahed will meet outside the Tehran United Nations Office in hopes of speaking with a UN member regarding the situation of their loved ones who are up for execution.
I have contacted the United Nations Deputy Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the office of Louise Arbour (the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva). They have replied the following:
"I have forwarded your emails to him with the request that he [The Iran desk of the UN] consider what OHCHR can do with regard to the request for a meeting of family members with a UN official in Teheran on Sunday at 5:00 PM."
Hopefully we will have a positive response. If you live in Iran and woul like to support these families please join them opposite the United Nations Office – Shariati street, after Hoseiniyeye Ershad, Ghaba Street, Shahrzad Blvd. Number 39.
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 PM Saturday, September 23, 2006
Place: North Vancouver Public library, Lonsdale @ 14th Street
- Nazanin Afshin Jam
- Fahimeh Sadeghi
- Zari Asli
More photos of Vancouver Rally:
Nazanin Boniadi and Roya Teimouri help organize the L.A. rally
Mina Ahadi conducted a radio show with Nazanin's mother Maryam where she revealed that Nazanin had 2 heart attacks in prison and had to go to hospital because of all the pressure. She is back from the hospital but they have transfered her to a different prison named Evin prison.
While the location of this prison is more convenient for lawyer Shadi Sadr it poses a problem for the family because they live in Karaj and can not afford the travel costs.
If you would like to help them with their travel costs to visit their daughter in prison please make a contribution on the Donations page. Thank you.
I wrote to some members of parliament in Canada, some journalists who were presiding over Ahmandinejad's speech at the General Assembly, Amnesty International , Sina's lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights activists regarding Sina's case. After speaking with a few people at the UN about the imminent case of Sina, they took immediate action and passed the information on to the Special Rapporteur on Executions. I think the United Nations may have had an effect in saving 18 year old Sina's life in Iran.
Sina's lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh got a phone call in the middle of the night from someone at the UN ordering her and Sina's father to meet with them. At 4:00 AM Sina was at the execution site with a rope around his neck standing on a chair ready to be executed when the officials announced that they would not execute him. The lawyer thinks they have a 2 month grace period before Sina could face the same fate again - that is unless the bill being debated in Iranian parliament regarding executions of minors succeeds. Now it is up to the international community to use this time to take action.
Unfortunately we were not made aware of the case of another 18 year old boy named Vahid who was executed this morning. The boy's family was too poor to afford a lawyer. This barbary must come to an end!
Kobra Rahmanpour faces execution soon after Oct 12th. Nazanin awaits her next trial date. Please continue to write send your letters of protest. They really make a difference!
An 18 year old boy in Iran named Sina is up for imminent execution at 4:00 AM Tehran time on Sept 20th 2006 (in less than 5 hours!!!) from Evin prison. BBC persian radio announced the news a couple of hours ago. They had an interview with his lawyer Nasrin Soutoudeh on the radio show "Jaaneh Jahrnama" Sina was 16 years old when he got into a dispute and fatally stabbed a man.
The Iranian officials have waited until he turned 18 to execute him. Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child which oblige them not to impose the death penalty on those under the age of 18. Because Sina was 16 at the time of the offence, Iran is in breach.
I have contacted the UN Deputy Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and he has relayed the information about Sina to the Special Rapporteur on Executions at the UN in Geneva. I hope something can be done.
In the meantime, please go to the What You Can Do section of this site and urgently write to the Iranian officials asking them to comply with the international treaties to which they are signatory and ask for a stay of execution. If you know any journalists who are at the General Assembly today to hear President Ahmadinejad's speech, have them address the issue on Sina, Nazanin Fatehi, Kobra Rahmanpour, Malak Ghorbani, Delare Darabi and Fatemeh Haghighat Pajouh.
When I interviewed Nazanin Fatehi months ago through a third party, she had said to not only help her but to help all the "Nazanin's".
Now is the time to step up and help another young woman who faces execution. Her name is Kobra Rahmanpour, she is 22 years old and she only has 10 days before the Islamic Republic of Iran wants to execute her. She has already served 7 years in prison for an offense she committed out of self defence.
Due to her family's social circumstance, Kobra was forced to marry a man 43 years her senior. Instead of security, Kobra faced years of abuse and maltreatment from her husband and his family. In one occasion he was even arrested and imprisoned for physically and sexually abusing her. In the last incident according to Kobra, she was attacked by her mother in law with a kitchen knife. Kobra claims that she killed her mother in law in an act of self defence. Kobra Rahmanpour's lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi had medical examiners verify and testify that the wounds on her hands were in fact from her grabbing the knife away from her mother in law. Kobra Rahmanpour did not premeditate this act.
Kobra Rahmanpour has suffered enough. She has spent years in prison under the psychological torture of not knowing whether or not she will be executed. According to her father she has lost teeth, and looks lifeless under depression. Kobra Rahmanpour's dream is to be freed, be reunited with her family and go to university.
The international community must act in solidarity to help save this young woman's life. The only way that Nazanin Fatehi, Malak Ghorbani, Delare Darabi, Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajoh, Ashraf Kalhori and others have any chance of justice is if we band together to help change the laws so that no others become victimized.
Send your emails of support about Kobra Rahmanpour to:
They will declare the names of those who sign in their support on Kobra blog: www.save-kobra.blogfa.com
Link to Kobra Rahmanpour's plea to life letter
Link to a letter written by Kobra Rahmanpour's father to save her life
We are still waiting for the announcement of Nazanin Fatehi's next trial date. Her lawyer Shadi Sadr does not believe it will be this month (September). Nazanin's family is extremely poor. They often do not have enough money to travel to see Nazanin in prison and cannot afford to communicate by phone. If you would like to financially help Nazanin and her family please go to the Donations page.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has a live 1 hour interview with Voice of America (Persian) including information about the Nazanin Fatehi case.
Click on the following links to view the interview:
Voice of America Interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam #1
Voice of America Interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam #2
The newspaper Etemaad which is run by the Islamic regime in Iran and is the same newspaper that reported the execution verdict of Nazanin Fatehi during the first trial, published a report of her re-trial (original text in persian) . Following is the translation of some excerpts by David Etebari:
... After the request for a verdict by the district attorney, Nazanin was called to testify . She said:
"I accept the murder accusation however that was not intentional. At 9:00 AM my neice Samieh and I went shopping for Persian new year. On the way back we ran in to Hamid and Roozbeh. Hamid was Samiehs former suitor. After much insisting by Hamid, we got on their motorcycles. I sat with Hamids friend and Samieh went on Hamids bike.
Near Akbarabad area, Hamid said that he wanted to smoke a cigarette and parked there. Suddenly three young guys with motorcycles arrived. The location where we were was not residential and it was surrounded by many fruit gardens. The three wanted Samieh and I to have sex with them and we refused.
Then two of them caught Samieh while the other guy (Yousef) grabbed me. Hamid and Roosbeh ran away when they saw the scene. I suddenly noticed that Samieh is on the ground and the two guys are attacking her. To save her I pulled a knife in my pocket which I had bought the same day and stabbed Yousef's arm and freed myself from him.
I ran towards Samieh and pulled her away from them and we both ran away. But they came after us and the two guys again got Samieh and Yousef caught me. I saw Samieh was pulled to the corner of a garden as Yousef was trying to rape me. He pressed his hand on my neck so much that I was turning blue. I stabbed him once and he released me. Again I went towards Samieh and freed her and we ran away and then we reported this to the police."
16 year old Samieh was the next witness. In her testimony she said:
"If Nazanin had not helped me, those guys would have definitely raped me. She did this to save mine and her own lives."
She then continued: "The road that we were taking was not busy but still was a traffic route of the locals and we did not anticipate such problems. Nazanin first stabbed the guy in his arm and ran away to help me but they were not giving up. Your honor, if you were in Nazanin's place what would you have done? Would you have let them rape me? I am young girl and since I was in her care, Nazanin felt responsible towards me and that is why she rescued me. We had no other way and didnt know what to do."
When Samieh was asked why they ran away from home, she replied:
"We did not run away from home, but because I had problem with my dad, I was staying at my aunts (Nazanin's mother) house."
The judge then ordered the continuance of the trial to another date.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has a live interview with CBC TV on Nazanin's retrial.
Today was Nazanin Fatehi's retrial; however no verdict has been announced.
The trial was supposed to start at 10:30 AM but there was a half hour delay. The trial lasted until 12:30 PM with a short break in between. The alleged rapist's family were not present. Nazanin was present with her family and three lawyers.
We have been informed that during her 20 minute testimony she was very brave and defended herself very well. She told the Judge that she has been honest from the very beginning. She extended her arm out to the Judge and said that it was she herself that came forward and gave the knife to the police at the scene of the offence and told them that she stabbed the man in self defence to protect her honour. She directly asked the Judge what he would have done faced with three attackers. He did not have an answer.
Nazanin's mother Maryam spoke during the trial and showed her discontent with how the officials had made Nazanin sign her own death sentence a few months back. She told them that Nazanin has no education and that she could not read or understand the papers they made her sign. She was asked to leave the court, she was crying a lot during and after Nazanin's trial. Nazanin's father stood up and told the courts that he had something to say. He said that it had been announced in many newspapers that Nazanin was a run-away and that he had told the Judges to go ahead with the execution. He told the Judge that he had never made such claims and that it was important for this information to be cleared for the sake of his family. The Judge said that these claims were written in their reports. Nazanin's father requested the Judge look in the files and see who made such allegations. When they verified their file they agreed that he was right and that no such claims were made.
In the end no judgement had been made and they announced that another court date would be set. Due to the sensitive nature of the trial we cannot provide all the details at the moment but we should be able to provide more details by tomorrow. Please continue spreading the word about Nazanin, sign the petition and make a donation. Nazanin and Nazanin's family need your help!
Nazanin's lawyers have been very generous to work pro bono on the Nazanin Fatehi case.
Nazanin's retrial is in 2 days! Lawyer Shadi Sadr is ready to defend 18 year old Nazanin. Nazanin wanted to give the message out that she is really grateful to everyone who has helped bring her story out. Let's all hope for the best.
UK rap artists "Persian Princes" have recorded a track in Nazanin Fatehi's honour to raise awareness of her situation. You can listen to their song "Nazanin" at:
Nazanin Afshin-Jam will be receiving the "Hero Award for Human Rights" and delivering a speech this Friday August 25th at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the case of Nazanin Fatehi. The award to be presented to Nazanin by Anne Archer and Jenna Elfman will be followed by Artists for Human Rights Concert, an outdoor event open to public in Union Square Park (14th & Broadway) from 7pm to 9pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Ann Archer
Nazanin Afshin-Jam's Speech
Nazanin Afshin-Jam speaks about Nazanin Fatehi on "The Standard" with Terry O'Neil on OMNI TV.
Nazanin’s trial is in 10 days. It falls on the 8th of Sharivar (in the Persian calendar) which translates to August 30th.
Nazanin’s lawyer Shadi Sadr who has visited Nazanin on several occasions has said that she was worried about Nazanin’s health. She said Nazanin was feeling depressed because her trial is coming up and she is worried about the outcome. As a result she has been taking a lot of pills and looks very sleepy at times. Shadi Sadr has encouraged Nazanin not to take so many pills and to be strong and healthy.
Nazanin’s lawyer Shadi Sadr and her partner are working hard on Nazanin’s file as her retrial will be up shortly. Shadi Sadr is a well known Iranian Journalist and lawyer. Her website is:
Shadi Sadr was recently been able to have Ashraf Kalhori’s sentence of death by stoning reversed in only a matter of a couple of months. Nazanin Fatehi is definitely in good hands!
You can hear Ms. Sadr speak on the case of 16 year old Atefah Sahaaleh who was hanged in public in August 2004 for having had sex outside of marriage, a so called “crime against chastity”:
23 days to go before Nazanin Fatehi retrial.
This is the response that one of our sources (who wishes to remain anonymous) has received from the French Embassy of Tehran regarding Nazanin:
"Merci beaucoup pour votre message. Sachez que l'Ambassade de France, en étroite concertation avec les autres ambassades des pays membres de l'Union européenne, suit de très près la situation de Nazanin, comme d'ailleurs la situation générale de la peine de mort en Iran. L'Union européenne est déjà intervenue auprès des autorités iraniennes pour réclamer la clémence au bénéfice de Nazanin et ne manquera pas de le faire à nouveau."
The french ambassy, in close cooperation with the ambassies of other member countries of the EU, is monitoring very closely Nazanin's situation, as well as the general situation about the death penalty in Iran. The European Union has already, and will again, ask clemency for Nazanin from the iranian authorities.
Nazanin Fatehi's family spoke with Nazanin in prison and said that she was in good spirits. She has been receiving more and more news that people around the world are fighting for her cause. Her lawyer visited her in prison and informed her that her retrial will be in a month from now. Let's continue spreading the word and keep up the pressure.
We now have over 200 000 signatures!
I was on Voice of America's live show "Roundtable" in Washington DC with Mr. Baharloo to continue to spread the word on Nazanin Fatehi.
Click on the following links to view the interview:
Voice of America Interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam #1
Voice of America Interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam #2
Nazanin meets UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour and speaks of the case of Nazanin Fatehi in Iran in Geneva, Switzerland. They said the UN and UNHCR are in regular contact with the Iranian authorities concerning possible human rights violations, including with respect to the case of Nazanin.
UN High Commissioner Louise Arbour, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Fannie Lafontaine
Nazanin appears on the cover of the Georgia Straight:
Nazanin meets with Amnesty International in Berlin, Germany and provides updates on the case of Nazanin Fatehi in Iran. She is invited to participate in the World Day against Death Penalty on October 10th.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam speaks about the case of Nazanin Fatehi and women's rights in Iran at the Olypic Collections in Los Angeles. She is part of a panel to commemorate the Pro-Democracy Students movement that happened in Iran on July 9th 1999 (Tir 18) along with student leader and former political prisoner Amir Abbas Fakhravar, Kourosh Sehati and Ghazal Omid.
Canadian Senator, Rod Zimmer and Liberal MP Belinda Stronach are helping set up an international fund to help pay for Nazanin Fatehi's legal costs and campaign costs.
Nazanin and Senator Zimmer in the foyer of the House of Commons, Canadian Parliament
Nazanin Fatehi has been released from solitary confinement. Her lawyer has confirmed that her re-trial will take place over a month from now. It is crutial to keep up the pressure.
Nazanin Fatehi has been placed in solitary confinement and has been told that she will stay there for at least one month. The prison has not allowed her to see her family for the past two weeks. She is only 18 years old, we must continue to pressure the Iranian Government.
I went to New York to visit Rachel Mayanja the UN's Secretary General's Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Empowerement of Women with Mina Ahadi and Sylvia Hordosch. She commended us for our efforts in the campaign to help save the life of young Nazanin Fatehi and proceeded to tell us that she did not have the mandate to take action on such an issue unless she gets special instruction from the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. She did say however that since we had sent a letter to Louise Arbour the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights she would see where the status of the file was at. Ms. Hordosch was very helpful and walked us over to UN Headquarters with a heavy suitcase full of pages of our printed petition. We were graciously greeted by Craig Mokhiber, Deputy Director of the New York Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights where as promised, we hand delivered the petition with 170 000 names of signatures, comments and countries of those who have supported the "Save Nazanin Petition". He assured us that it would be sent to the UN's Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
Since this time it has been confirmed by Louise Arbour's Special Advisor Fannie Lafontaine in Geneva that: "Louise Arbour has indeed written to the Iranians about the case of Nazanin, highlighting the fact that she is a minor".
Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Mina Ahadi prepare the 3 boxes filled with 170 000 signatures of people from around the world that have signed the Save Nazanin Petition to deliver to the UN
Nazanin and Mina present the Save Nazanin Petition to Goro Onojima (Human Rights Officer) and Craig G. Mokhiber (Deputy Director) of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
I was very pleased with my visit to Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. I had party solidarity from the Conservative, Liberal, NDP and the Bloc Quebecois party in support of the initiative to reverse the Iranian Government’s decision to execute Nazanin Fatehi.
Along with Mina Ahadi, the Head of the International Committee Against Execution and Cheryl Hotchkiss the Amnesty International representative out of the Ottawa office who is in charge of women’s rights issues, we had meetings with various members of parliament to speak on the case of Nazanin Fatehi. Many important questions were raised and many helpful suggestions were made on how we can proceed.
We spoke of the greater human rights problem that exists in Iran and Royal Galipeau brought up an important question. He asked where we [Canada] had gone wrong in the case of Canadian Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi and what can we do to prevent something like that from happening in the future. This is definitely a pertinent question as Canadian Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo is being arbitrarily detained at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison where mental and physical torture is routine.
Based on his past experience, Dan McTeague offered his expert advice on different steps that the MP’s in Parliament could make in order to ensure the safety of young Nazanin. Mr. McTeague was part of the diplomatic effort to obtain the release of William Sampson from Saudi Arabian jail in 2003.
Belinda Stronah has actively been helping bring the situation of Nazanin to light for months. She has contacted many high profile people to spread the news about Nazanin including Lloyd Axworthy who had sent out a press release. She also wrote to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour.
MP Belinda Stronach rose in the House of Commons during Question Period to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay to confirm that he had received assurances from the Iranian embassy that a new trial has been ordered for Nazanin Fatehi. Here was his response:
After Question Period there was a Press Conference in the foyer of the House of Commons where we were interviewed to draw attention to this issue and garner support from Canadians across the land.
From left to right showing solidarity: Conservative MP Royal Galipeau and Deputy Speaker of the house, Bloc Quebecois MP Caroline St- Hilaire, Nazanin Afshin-Jam not affiliated with any organization or political party, Mina Ahadi the head of the International Committee Against Execution, New Democrat Party MP Alexa McDonough, Liberal MP Belinda Stronach
Caroline St. Hilaire said she is commited to the cause and intends to encourage her Bloc Quebecois collegues and Quebeckers across the province to sign the petition.
Our sources in Iran and the International Committee Against Execution have confirmed the report in the Iranian Newspaper "Hamshari" that Nazanin's execution has been stayed for the time being by Ayatollah Shahroudi (the Head of Judiciary); however the Save Nazanin Campaign is far from over. A retrial has been announced and Nazanin's case will be sent to a lower court for further investigation. They have not said that Nazanin is free or that she will spend X amount of years in jail. Nazanin is a victim of attempted rape, she should not even have to serve jail time. Nazanin may be sentenced to death once again by the courts as seen in past cases.
Let's not let Nazanin suffer like Kobra Rahmanpour. Kobra is an 19 year old girl who killed someone out of self defence and had her execution stayed several times before she was set free. She was even at the execution site where they announced that "they did not have enough rope". She ended wasting 7 years of her young life in jail.
In her first trial, Nazanin had a state appointed lawyer as her family was too poor to hire a personal lawyer. Measures are now being taken to hire a lawyer with much experience in these types of cases.
The london office of Amnesty International said: "Many congratulations for your excellent campaigning achievements on this case. I have no doubt that international attention, and the intervention of UN and other governments (which I have heard has happened), along with the activism of womens' human rights defenders inside Iran, has led to the intervention of Shahroudi on this case. (as I have seen previously before with cases such as Layla Mafi and Afsaneh Norouzi)"
Let us not forget that Nazanin is one example of many others in a similar situation. In 2005 alone, 8 minors were hanged in Iran in direct violation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Let's continue working towards setting a precedent so that no one ever again has to face what Nazanin has faced and could face in the coming future.
I am in regular contact with Mina Ahadi (a main figure of the International Committee against executions and against stoning). She has been responsible for freeing many women from execution in Iran. Together we are in the process of getting as much information as possible about Nazanin's case and providing Nazanin with a personal lawyer. At the moment young Nazanin has a state appointed lawyer. As soon as I have more information I will post it on this site.
I have been invited by the United Nations along with Mina Ahadi the Head of the International Committee Against Execution to speak about the case of Nazanin Fatehi on June 8th in New York.
Nazanin Fatehi has been very scared the last few days in prison. She said she believes they are making decisions on her case. She said that various "Ghazi's" (judges) have been questionning her about the offence. She said repeated to them that she didn't want to kill that man, that she was simply protecting herself and her niece out of self-defense. Nazanin Fatehi continually thanks everyone who is campaigning on her behalf and her spirits have been lifted by all the kind hearts out there.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has received and seen the file on the case of Nazanin and her assistant said that "action" was being taken on this file but that she was not at liberty to provide details siting "confidentiality". Louise Arbour is back in her Geneva office from travelling on Monday at which time her office will make contact to discuss this file.
Interview by Nazanin Afshin-Jam with Nazanin Fatehi in prison in Iran via a mediator and the help of the International Committee against Execution.
Hear Nazanin Fatehi's mother speak with a representative of the International Committee Against Execution.
We have just been informed through our contacts in Iran that the story of Nazanin is becoming quite widespread in Iran due to infiltrating media (via satellite TV, radio, and internet). Consequently, the International Commitee Against Execution believes that the Iranian officials will not likely make any hasty decisions regarding Nazanin and will probably not execute her this week or next week. That said, the ICAE emphasizes that one never knows what will take place at any given moment, as witnessed in previous cases, and that we must continue our humanitarian pressure on the Iranian Authorities in advance of the Supreme Court's final decision.
I have been invited to speak to the parties in the Canadian Parliment about the case of Nazanin on June 5th and 6th. I have an appointment to meet with the office of my local Member of Parliament to present the case of young Nazanin.
Ex-Foreign Minister of Canada Lloyd Axworthy has sent out a press release urging the public to take action on the case of Nazanin.
On the night of May 15th, upon learning that her file has been sent to Tehran, Nazanin phoned her family asking them to visit her in prison. She said that by the end of the week the Supreme Court will decide her fate. Nazanin’s father left the next morning to visit her in prison. She would not let her father go. She cried and said "I’m scared Dad, don’t leave me here".
Nazanin (Mahabad) Fatehi is the eldest of 6 children ranging from 2 to 18. They are Kurdish from the area of Sanandaj but they live in Karaj (a suburb of Tehran). They live a very poor existence. Her father has been sick for many years and has required numerous operations, her mother has done house work for other families to bring in income to the family. Nazanin needed to stay home and take care of the household and as a result she could not attend school and now has equivalent to a grade 2 education. They have not been able to afford a lawyer for Nazanin. As a result Nazanin has a state appointed lawyer.
We have requested a well known lawyer who has worked on similar cases before to take on Nazanin’s case. Meanwhile I have written letters to the UN requesting a visit with Kofi Annan or other UN representative to hand deliver the Save Nazanin Petition with over 130 000 signatures in order to petition the Iranian Officials not to go ahead with the execution. As soon as I am given the go-ahead I will be on the first plane ride over to New York or Geneva to meet with the appointed officials. In the meantime I am conducting many media interviews in order to spread the word as much as possible. The more pressure the Iranian Government receives about the case of Nazanin the less likely they are to carry out the execution. Many influential people and NGO’s are backing this case. The International Committee against Execution/Stoning in particular has been most helpful in gathering information about the case of young Nazanin. While it is a very imminent time, we also remain very hopeful.
Please sign the petition, write personal letters to the addresses below. Remember to be firm but not harsh or else it may hurt the case of Nazanin. Spread the word to your local media. If you have any connections with international organizations, diplomats, NGO’s, have them write letters to the Iranian government and Judiciary. Based on past cases similar to Nazanin, it has been known that through pressure from these types of means, the accused is granted clemency.
Let’s work together in saving Nazanin Fatehi from a cruel and unjust punishment.
Let's save this victim of attempted rape.
Let Nazanin act as a precedent so that Iran never carries out such injustices again.
I would like to dedicate my song "Someday: The Revolution Song" to the oppressed Youth of Iran, in particular a teenager whose name is also Nazanin. She has been sentenced to death by hanging.
You can listen to it at:
Happy Norooz (Persian New Year). To most Iranians around the world, this is a day of great celebration. To one teenager in Iran named "Nazanin" it is a day of horror. The Iranian courts have sentenced Nazanin to death by hanging for having reportedly admitted stabbing one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16 year old niece.
Her sentence is subject to review by the Court of Appeal so there is still time for us all to take action. We need to spread awareness of this to everyone we know.