Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nazanin update

I have previously posted on this case here, here, and here.

According to Save Nazanin, Nazanin Al-Fatehi's blood money has been paid and she has been released. The requirement that she pay is still under appeal, but putting up the money now made her release possible. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, an Iranian-born Canadian popular singer has, with aid from some Canadian M. P.'s, set up a trust fund for this purpose. They continue to take donations, which will help to defray her legal costs and those of other minors under the death sentence in Iran.

Iran is a signatory to the U.N. International Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is one of the tenets of this document that children are not to be subjected to capital punishment. Yet Iran does this regularly, often getting under the wire by holding the accused in prison until he or she has reached majority age. The page above from Save Nazanin includes a list of twenty-three juveniles currently facing the death penalty--the youngest for whom the age is known is only fifteen. One young woman, sentenced for her involvement in a murder at seventeen, recently attempted suicide and may be executed at any time.

If U.N. documents are to be anything but a formality, Iran, as well as other governments who cheerfully sign onto human rights declarations by which they have no intention of abiding must be pressured to cease this hypocricy and live up to the statements they have endorsed.

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