Friday, January 13, 2006

Amnesty International Alert

Please consider taking action now. An Iranian woman is in danger of dying because she defended herself against violence and enslavement. Okay, that's how I see it. You can learn more for yourself here: Amnesty International.

In a nutshell, here's the information. Azam Ghareh Shiran was forced to marry one of her father's cousins at the age of 15. The cousin/husband turned out to be a violent drug addict who sold her into prostitution to support the family and his habit. Moreover, she was afraid that their 9-year-old daughter would also be sold into prostitution.

She began a relationship with another man, moved into his house, and tried twice to obtain a divorce. When that failed, she drugged her husband, the new man strangled him, and they disposed of his body in a canal. Maybe.

To be clear, I DO NOT think that anyone's murder is an act of justice. I really don't. But here's the thing. She was imprisoned for two years before the trial began. She had no access to a lawyer until the day the trial started. After her sentencing, a routine review by the Supreme Court expressed grave concerns with the preceding trial -not the least of which were that a body was never found so cause of death can not be ascertained and the confession was coerced. And, bearing in mind that I'm repeating myself, she was forced into marriage at 15 and sold into prostitution, which apparently is not against the rules. In spite of all this, the sentence has been passed to the judicial body that carries out executions. She could be killed any time now.

So, the time to act is right this minute, if you are so inclined. The Head of the Iranian Judiciary has the power to stay the execution. Amnesty International is organizing a letter writing campaign supporting this stay. You can write and send a letter by clicking here: Letter Writing Campaign. What would capital punishment accomplish in this case? Honestly....

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