Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2007
Two Iranian Women, Two Different but Similar Stories of Suppression and Brutality
Two disturbing stories about two very different women from different areas in
Iran follow. Both stories are testimonials to the suffering of women under the
Islamic Fundamentalists ruling Iran.
- Soghra Najafpoor has spent 18 years in prison. She was arrested at the age of 13 and accused of killing an 8 year old boy. Soghra started working as a maid in a doctor's house in Tehran when she was 9. She alleges that the doctor sexually molested her. The medical records from 18 years ago also verify that Soghra was molested at the time. She was taken to be executed at the age of 17 but the parents of the deceased child changed their minds and asked for clemency.
According to Islamic Sharia law practiced in Iran, the family of the victim could make the decision about execution of the accused. Soghra was released due to persistent efforts of her lawyer after spending 18 years in prison. But now the parents of her alleged victim have filled out the request for execution of Soghra. She denies the charge of killing the young boy, but she cannot even appeal her death sentence. Although Soghra was thirteen at the time of the alleged crime, according to the October 2nd edition of the state-run daily Etemad, the mullahs' judiciary insists on carrying out the hanging shortly. Iran is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which obliges the Iranian regime not to execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under the age of 18. But time and again the fundamentalist regime has ignored both conventions.
- Ronak Safarzadeh, a 21 year old graduate of Graphics design and a women's rights activist from Kurdistan, Iran was arrested a few weeks ago in Sanandaj and taken to the Information Ministry's detention center. The agents of Information ministry entered her house without a warrant. They confiscated her personal belongings and arrested her. Her mother has actively searched for her to no avail. She has been ridiculed and ignored. She was told her that she will be detained if her daughter's story gets publicized. Ronak was active with "one million signature" petition to change the discriminatory laws against women in Iran. She was also a member of Women's Azarmehr organization in Kurdistan.
The Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) calls upon all human rights and women's rights organizations along with the UN Human Rights Council to denounce the brutal practices of the Islamic Fundamentalist regime in Iran. The leaders of the theocratic regime ruling Iran must be held responsible for gross violations of human rights, especially the rights of women, in their country.
WFAFI calls upon the world community to hold the Iranian government responsible for crimes against women and help free Soghra, Ronak and all the women detained, tortured and on the verge of execution in Iran.
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