Women’s Forum Against
August 21, 2004
16 year girl hanged in public for having the courage to defend herself in court
Boston, MA - The Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) has just been
informed that a 16 year old girl, Atefeh Sahaleh Rajabi, was hanged in
public on August 15, 2004. Atefeh
was hanged in her hometown of Neka in northern state
of Mazandaran, Iran. She was charged for having an unlawful
relationship with a young man.
Despite her family’s efforts to
obtain a lawyer, Atefeh was denied one by the order
of the clerical judge. In her own
defense, she told the judge, Haji Rezai,
that he should punish the main perpetrators for moral corruptions and not the
was condemned to death by both the local clerical judge and Iran’s Supreme Court in Tehran. The young man involved in the act
only received 100 lashes and was set free.
After her execution, the
local clerical judge said her punishment was not execution but he had her
executed for her “sharp tongue”. Atefeh was given a more severe punishment because of her
gender and courage to talk back to the fundamentalist rulers in Iran’s court
system. The charges against her were
unfounded and the court had no proof of the young couple’s relationship.
condemns this misogynous act by Iran’s
fundamentalist rulers and the clerical judges.
Even though Atefeh was denied a lawyer for her
defense and thus had no fair trial, she was punished for defending herself
holds the leaders of Iran’s
fundamentalist regime responsible for Atefeh’s
murder. Those who commit such crimes against women should be brought in to
justice. Violence against women in Iran is
institutionalized and Atefeh’s case should not be
forgotten. We call upon all women’s rights activists and human rights advocates
to support the Iranian women in their struggle to end such atrocities in Iran.
P.O.Box 15205, Boston, MA 02215
Tel: (617) 590-1665