Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nazanin Retrial Report

Source APTN (Associated Press)

The court proceedings were supposed to begin at 10:30 local time (07:00 GMT). There was a 2-hour delay due to the massive interest (there were over 200 people cramming to get into the courthouse).

Proceedings, as a result, were carried out in an adjacent amphitheatre. There were four judges presiding over the hearings plus Nazanin's two lawyers. Nazanin's lawyers did most of the speaking, but she presented her side of the story briefly as well.

The court's decision: what Nazanin did was not premeditated murder. The judges added that the previous court's verdict was partly based on unreliable and inaccurate testimony.

The court did not go as far as staying the execution today. But the family expects a formal letter to that effect in the coming days.

Despite the absence of a formal repudiation today, this is very positive news, no doubt, and the family is quite hopeful.

--Courtesy of SaveNazanin, along with the picture of Nazanin Fatehi getting to finally see her little brother. The decision may come in next week. Keep in mind, this young woman is being kept in Iran's most notorious prison, Evin Prison, where she was beaten for her first two days until she was forced into a confession. Many succumb to these "interrogations" by going to the grave early, as did Canadian-Iranian Zahra Khatami. Keep in mind as well, Nazanin went to the police HERSELF to report the attempted rape of herself and her (then) 15 year old niece. She has cried on the phone in conversations with her Mother, as shown in the 30 minute film, "Tale of Two Nazanins", always begging her family and those aiding them to understand that she's innocent.

Nazanin Fatehi is a very brave woman, as was exhibited by her amazing ability to fend off her rapists. She has, however, suffered heart attacks in prison from the stress (and likely also the conditions there). While there are still protests against the hanging of Saddam, there is not yet widespread protest of all those being tortured, imprisoned, disappearing and being hanged after arrests in Iran. The comparison of publicity speaks volumes, doesn't it? Nazanin in turn has spoken out for all those in her situation:

"My message to the people of the world is that outside of this prison is also a prison. It is not only this "unfortunate Nazanin" that is in prison. So please don't just help me, help all "Nazanins" go back to a normal life."

--Nazanin Fatehi

The petition has finally passed 300,000 signatures, the meager goal of those heading the movement to save Nazanin, namely Nazanin Afshin-Jam. Please sign it if you haven't already.


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