Nazanin Fatehi – Injustice

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Nazanin is Free now.

Jan 31, 2007 : NAZANIN IS FREE!!!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.

Updated on Jan 31, 2007

Islam is for justice and equity. Sharia laws applied in Nazanin’s case do not meet the criteria of Justice. Islam came to free the humans from the clutches of clergy, Sharia was invented to put us right back in the cage.

Nazanin Fatehi

Like her and other young females in Iran where Shariah law is predominant, many young girls are victims of their abuses. Of the BIGGEST defenders are Americans who live in this country and insisit that this is the way we should go and those who are doing this are not practising it correctly. I find this a very perposterous arguement and reeks of ignorance on the part of American-Muslims who fail to understand the disasterous consequences. Sharia law is a process where people use Islamic texts to reach an understanding, but whenever they are put in place, tragically this is the outcome.

I am not sure what the solution might be, but right now this young girl Nazanin is going to be put on trial. I have seen efforts made by the Iranian community to speak out but most are no longer Muslims and see IRI and Islam in the same light. Sadly I have never seen anything coming from any Muslim site – ISNA and so on. I emailed them this information in January 2006 and also forwared the information to Shirin-Ebadi who would forward the case to another lawyer. I also contacted several media stations. Others were very active in drawing attention to this case.

I don’t know the reason for the choice to distance themselves from this case, other than Iranians are shias or perhaps they are strong supports of Sharia law and don’t want to interfere.

When people like Goode come to use and tell us that they don’t want this place to be a Muslim country, sadly it’s examples like this and the lack of of Muslims here getting vocal that draws attention. As long as we remain silent about these issues, the more we give credibility to their fears about Islam and Muslims.

That’s my two cents worth. This is a personal email and I sincerely hope that it stay between both yourself and Mrs. Najma. However, you are welcome to use the contents of it tonight as long as you do not use my name because there is an incredible backlash among Muslims as they take criticisms like this very personal (plus I have been threatened by Muslims (even those who live here) on other websites when I brought up issues like this so I am very wary today).



Thanks for sharing your notes.

Indeed, the issue of Nazanin Fetahi is testing our sense of justice and hope AhmediNejad steps in does the right thing. We have to join in hands with the groups who are already doing the work to save the life of Nazanin.

Just to give you some hope, there is a major shift in Muslim thinking in the last three years that I have noticed in our group, the World Muslim Congress. Insha Allah, I will document that in an article.

1. Muslims now are separting religion from culture, separating Qur’aan from Sharia, distinctely differntiating the two and willing to devalue those laws that do not meet the justice criteria.

2. Muslims are no longer taking criticism as personal, they are studying the validity of it rather than reacting with anger. An overwhelming majority of Muslims are not offended or angered if any one questions about the Hadith and Sharia, instead they want to know the reason and logic behind a practice.

3. When it comes to women issues, almost all men in the group see it as an issue of justice and human rights and they want fairness, equality and justice in our dealings with both men and women. This is a major change and must be acknowledged, though not 100%, the shift is there positively to stay.

Now how does this translate into actions?

I will speak out agaisnt injustice if I see one around me, and I do know that every one in the group will do the same. It is a small effort and hope it will be contagious. Blaming any one is senseless if we don’t take the action ourselves.

Mike Ghouse
From: Zeba

I too wish I could have attended and inshallah will try in the future.

I hear what you are saying. However, other will argue that as Muslims the laws that have been developed actually derive from the Qu’ran – whipping and amputation for moral crimes and theft. Several Muslim men on Muslim websites are in uproar because these laws are not in place and believe that Muslim women will run wild. They cite two of their favourite examples have always been Irshad Manji and Asra Nomani. Of course the same men rarely display outrage towards honor killings, wife beatings or the horrific incidents that happened to the young girls burned in Saudi when they were forced to return to claim their hijaabs, the brutal gang rape of M. Bibi and so on. If it is addressed, they will minimize the incidents and claim, “they have nothing to do with Islam.” Which in essence is true, but these dreadful occurences are substantiated by people who use hadiths and other texts to justify these acts.

Moreover, it is my understanding it is the process of figh that leads to the development of laws that apparently shahriah based. And those whose who are involved in that process tend to be men and often men who are of an orthodox nature. But my question is why are religious leaders even in the US so determined to establish it? We just have to pick up a history book and read what it did for the Mughal Kings of India when they tried to implement it (see Arungzeb).

By the way, as mentioned when my sister went on hajj, Dar-El-Salam gave her a book. In the book it stated that as a Muslim she would not have her hajj accepted if she did not believe in Shahriah law. They gave two examples, hand amputation and stoning to death adulters (and on a technical note this is actually derived from the Torah/Jewish orthodox tradition). As you can see I really wish I could have attended. I most likely would have said very little as much of my thinking meets with hostility from most Muslim groups. Quite often I’ve been told by some of these *extemist* people that if I don’t like the way things are done in Islam, I should leave the religion (as they have authority over it).

Just a note, I really enjoy reading the articles on your email distribution. It’s great to read them and though I don’t participate, it’s good to read and learn different opinions.


Nazanin (Mahabad) Fatehi (Persian: نازنین فاتحی) is a 19-year old Kurdish Iranian girl who has been sentenced to death for stabbing a man who she claims tried to rape her and her 15 year old niece (Nazanin was 17 at the time).

On January 3, 2006, Nazanin was sentenced to death for murder by a criminal court of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Court of Appeal will review her sentence, and if upheld there, it must be confirmed by the Supreme Court, before she can be executed.

According to Nazanin, as reported in the Iranian daily Etemaad [1] then 17-year-old Nazanin and her 15 year old niece (Sumayeh) were in a park in Karaj, west of Tehran with their boyfriends, when three men started harassing them. The girls’ boyfriends fled from the scene, leaving them helpless behind. The men pushed Nazanin and her niece down on the ground and tried to rape them, and to protect herself, she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

According to Nazanin, the girls tried to escape, but the men overtook them, and at this point Nazanin stabbed one of the other men in the chest, which eventually killed him. According to the accounting of the court in the Etemaad newspaper, when the judge asked her why her father had not attended the hearing, she sobbed uncontrollably and yelled at the judge: “I did not want to kill him!! I am not at all a bad-doer. Mr. Judge, what do you want to do with me? I am a girl child! How many times do I have to say that I did this to defend myself and my niece??” The final court verdict was death sentence by hanging. [2] [3] [4]

Based on the original Etemaad story, one of the boyfriends recall the story as : “In an instant, three young men approached us in a threatening manner and said some horrible things to us. Then, Mohammad, one of those men, attacked us with a rock. Samieh got off of my motorcycle and approached the men to fight them. Roozbeh and I were both scared, so we got on our motorcycles to flee, and just as we got on our bikes, I saw one of the men on the ground bleeding.” No source has reported what independent witnesses said about the encounter. An unknown political group, the Friends of Humanity organization alleges the victim was a member of an Iranian police force:

“The attackers were all members of the suppressive paramilitary Bassij force in the city of Karaj.” [5]. The Etemaad story also reports that at the time of the attack, Nazanin was a runaway who was disowned by her family. However in a phone interview Nazanin’s mother shows much concerns about her daughter’s fate and clearly pleads for her daughter’s life while crying [11]. In the same interview, Nazanin’s mother confirmed that she asked the victim’s mother for pardon, but the alleged rapist’s mother refused.


As Nazanin has claimed that she only acted in self-defense, critics have pointed out that in another country she might be acquitted or receive only a short prison sentence. Iran also has a young age of eligibility for the death penalty – 15 years for males, and 9 for females. [6].

Amnesty International is also lobbying for Nazanin. [7]. “I think cases like this are illustrative of the fact there is a serious human rights crisis in Iran; the death penalty, discrimination against women and a whole host of other concerns. It really is time for the international community to put those issues right at the top of the agenda.” ,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. In another public statement, On May 19, 2006 Amnesty International again addressed its concern about Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi case. [12]

Former Iranian Miss World Canada 2003, and musician Nazanin Afshin-Jam, trying to save her namesake’s life initiated the “Save Nazanin Campaign” and has started a petition which has attracted more than 250,000 signatures worldwide as of January 2007.( # of signatures gathered to date) [8]. CNN 4/13/2006 REPORT on NAZANIN

Negar Azmudeh, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer, has also taken up Nazanin’s cause, alleging that this case demonstrates the unjust treatment of women in Iran. Azmudeh told CTV (Canadian Television)[9] that had Nazanin been killed by a man, he would likely not have received a death sentence: “Because the value of his life would be twice as much as Nazanin’s.”

Appeal to the Iranian Supreme Court, United Nations and Canadian parliament

On May 17 2006, Nazanin Afshin-Jam published a press release saying that Nazanin’s case was scheduled to be reviewed by the Iranian Supreme Court the next week. [10]. The cover letter to the petition is directed at Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations. Following a meeting with United Nations by Nazanin Afshin-Jam, UN high commissioner Louise Arbour contacted Iranian government regarding Nazanin Fatehi’s case. [13].

Miss Afshin-Jam also addressed the Canadian parliament members regrading the matter in June 5, 2006 and MP Belinda Stronach rose in the Canadian House of Commons during Question Period to ask the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay to confirm that he had received assurances from the Iranian embassy that a new trial was ordered for Nazanin Fatehi.[14][15]

Re-trial court ended – No verdicts yet

August 30, 2006 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.

No judgement had been made and they announced that another court date would be set.[20][21]. According to Etemaad newspaper’s report of the re-trial, Samieh Nazanin’s niece also testified in her favor. [22][23]. Nazanin’s re-trial is scheduled for January 10, 2007.[24].

Nazanin Afshin-Jam made a video appeal to Iranian Officials only 5 days to the re-trial.[25]. She also released a documentary titled “The Tale of Two Nazanins”. It features Nazanin’s family in Iran and an emotional phone conversation with Nazanin Fatehi from her prison. [26]


Petition website dedicated to Nazanin with Updates page for Nazanin
SaveNazanin myspace blog with Updates on Nazanin
Nazanin Fatehi
Website dedicated to Nazanin
The tales of two Nazanins, a documentary including her phone call to her mother
Appeal to Iranian Officials by Nazanin Afshin-Jam
CNN report
Video Clip about Nazanin
Nazanin story on Canadian Television
Amnesty international: Iran: Amnesty International calls for end to death penalty for child offenders
English translation of original State-run Iranian Etemaad Newspaper article
Original Etemaad article in persian
Islamic Republic of Iran codes of laws with espect to women
ICAE: International Committee Against Executions
Phone interview in persian with Maryam Fatehi mother of Nazanin
Whose Morality?: An Analysis of Nazanin Fatehi’s first public interview on her site on
TV Interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam about the Nazanin case (in French)
Website of Shadi Sadr the new attorney for Nazanin
Etemaad newspaper report of second trial in persian
A rap by Iranian band: Persian Princes about Nazanin
Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) broadcast, December 2006
Canadian Television coverage of Nazanin case
Voice of America Television, Persian language program interviewing Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Retrieved from “

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