After the execution of Atefeh, Iranian media reported that Judge Rezai and several militia members, including Captain Zabihi and Captain Molai, were arrested by the Intelligence Ministry. Inside sources informed the media that in addition to the confession of his rape of Atefeh, Judge Rezai, who served as judge, jury and executioner, also confessed to torturing her during interrogations to extract names of others she had relations with. He also confessed to covering up what he and the militia members had done to Atefeh, by speeding up the verdict of execution. Judge Rezai insisted that the verdict and the execution were fully in compliance with the laws of Islam, permitted and sanctioned by the religious authorities. No charges have been made against Rezai.
The execution is controversial because as a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran promised not to execute anyone under the age of 18. Atefah's father had passed her birth certificate to the civil authorities, lawyers involved, journalists and Judge Rezai himself but according to a witness, "the judge just looked at her body, because of the developed physique ... declared her as 22." Pursuant to continual complaints filed by Atefeh's family, and heavy international pressure about her execution and the way the judge mishandled the case, the Supreme Court of Iran issued an order to free Atefeh, but only after it already knew she was dead.
Atefeh's mother died in a car accident when she was five. Shortly after, her younger brother is said to have drowned in a river. Her father became a drug addict, and she was forced to care for her octogenarian grandparents. Despite her attending to their needs they are reported to have completely ignored her. She grew up in the town of Neka, Iran and was described as a 'lively and intelligent girl,' whom everyone knew, and was often seen wandering free on the streets. She was called "gypsy of Neka" by the locals, as she was not restrained in her behavior, having no parental guidance
On the day she was due to attend a wedding, the Moral Police arrested her as she was preparing dinner for her grandparents. As she had not committed an offence, a petition was presented declaring her a 'bad influence'; it was not signed.
She was convicted for ‘crimes against chastity’, based on her admission, obtained through torture, that she had repeatedly had sex with a 51-year-old ex-revolutionary guard turned taxi-driver Ali Darabi, a married man with children, who raped her several times. She kept the relationship, which lasted over three years, a secret from both her family and the authorities. However, while in prison, she finally told her grandmother, saying that afterwards she could only walk on all fours because of the pain. In the court the judge was Haji Rezai. As Atefah realised she was losing her case, she removed her hijab, an act seen as a severe contempt of the court, and argued that Ali Darabi should be punished, not she. She even removed her shoes and hit the judge with them. The judge later sentenced her to death.
Atefeh appealed her conviction. Her family could still not afford a lawyer, and none was provided, in contravention of Iranian law. Although such appeals are usually not resolved within a year, her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. Haji Rezai, the religious judge, was reportedly so incensed with Atefeh’s "sharp tongue" during the trial that he travelled to Tehran to convince the mullahs of the Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence. According to the BBC, the documents presented to the Supreme Court of Appeal described her as 22 years old, but her birth certificate and death certificate stated that she was 16. The issue of her age was not brought to proper attention before it was too late.
Amnesty International and a number of other organisations have reported that she suffered from psychological illness, both before and at the trial.
She was publicly hanged from a crane in Neka, Iran, on August 15, 2004. The judge in her case, Haji Rezai, also acted as executioner and applied the noose himself. She was left hanging for 45 minutes. He later boasted that she had been "taught a lesson" for her "sharp tongue". Her father was not notified of her execution. The next day her body was stolen from her grave. It has never been recovered.
Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations from the international community declared her killing to be a crime against humanity and against children of the world.
Whats that you say? It's not a problem with the whole Iranian justice system? It's just the messed up work of one stupid/sick individual....
You can spend all day rattling off incidents in USA (which i dont live in or feel a particular affinity to) that have been mistakes and very regrettable miscarriages of justice. It's not an indictment on their entire system as a whole though. Just like what i posted above isn't an indictment on the entire iranian system.
Almost everyone in this thread seems to be so blinded about being for or against America or Iran, What about being for human rights, being for justice, being for compassion and doing the right thing no matter where it happens?
Edited by kingpomba, 24 February 2012 - 03:10 PM.