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Girl Hanged
August 23, 2004 7:49 AM   Subscribe

A 16 year-old girl was hanged in Iran for having a "sharp tongue," i.e. back-talking the judge.
posted by tbc (137 comments total)

 
The article kinda sorta ommitted a few important details.
posted by dhoyt at 7:53 AM on August 23, 2004


I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.
posted by brownpau at 7:56 AM on August 23, 2004


More info here.

"On Sunday August 15, 2004, a 16 year old girl by the name of Atefe Rajabi, daughter of Ghassem Rajabi, was executed in the town of Neka, located in the province of Mazandaran, for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”. The execution was carried out by the order of Neka’s “judicial administrator” and was approved by both the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic and the chief of the nation’s “judiciary branch.”

Although according to her birth certificate she was only 16 years old, the local court falsely claimed that she was 22.

Three months ago, during her appearance before the local court, fiercely angry the young girl hurled insults at the local judge, Haji Reza, who is also the chief judicial administrator of the city, and it is said as another expression of protest took off some of her clothes in the courtroom. This act by the young girl made the administrator so furious that he evaluated her file personally and in less than three months received a go-ahead from the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Court for her execution. The animosity and anger of Haji Reza was so strong that he personally put the rope around the girl’s delicate neck and personally gave the signal to the crane operator, by raising his hand, to begin pulling the rope"

posted by loquax at 8:04 AM on August 23, 2004


Could someone post a link to a major news source? I don't exactly trust web sites called Iran Focus and Activist Chat.
posted by fleener at 8:09 AM on August 23, 2004


Look, this is an emotional moment for all of us, OK? I know that. But lets not make snap judgments, please. This is clearly an important species we're dealing with and I don't think that you or I, or anybody, has the right to arbitrarily exterminate them.
posted by ed\26h at 8:09 AM on August 23, 2004


I guess there's no point in trying that wussy liberal "if you're in favor of capital punishment, could you personally throw the switch?" line with Iranian judges. Just one more reason that religious fundamentalists should kept as far away from power as possible.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:13 AM on August 23, 2004


Let he who lives in a country that doesn't execute retarded people cast the first stone.

(meaning any American in this thread had better decry all executions of people with diminished responsibility, not just ones in countries full of brown people with a different religion.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:15 AM on August 23, 2004


"Let he who lives in a country that doesn't execute retarded people cast the first stone."

Umm, assuming that the reports are accurate, the US doesn't execute "retarded people" for mouthing off and disrobing, or for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”. If you want to start a thread about executions and competency, go right ahead. It's not relevant here, and a pretty silly thing to say.

Not everything has to be put in terms of the US. You can have an opinion about something without referencing your disgust/pleasure/OCD regarding America. You'd make Miguel very happy, for one thing.
posted by loquax at 8:23 AM on August 23, 2004


Someone's used the term "brown people" in an attempt to straw-man an opposing argument; that happens really very frequently. Tu quoque!
posted by ed\26h at 8:23 AM on August 23, 2004


Umm, assuming that the reports are accurate, the US doesn't execute "retarded people" for mouthing off and disrobing, or for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”.

If you accept that its fine to execute people of less-than-normal mental development (children or the handicapped), why quibble over the offenses that warrant it?

Executing people who aren't capable of making adult decisions is fine, but you decide which cases warrant it? I made my previous comment to head off the right-wingers who are going to point out how disgusting islamic governments are for these types of practices, while ignoring that we do the same thing, with only a narrower set of offenses. At what point does killing people in the name of public order become fine? It becomes fine when you're comfortable with it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:42 AM on August 23, 2004


The article kinda sorta omitted a few important details.
posted by dhoyt at 9:53 AM CST on August 23


Irrelevant.

If it occurred, there is no justification for it. There are no details minute enough to warrant it.

I could only possibly consider treason serious enough to merit the execution of a teenager.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:45 AM on August 23, 2004


Umm, assuming that the reports are accurate, the US doesn't execute "retarded people" for mouthing off and disrobing, or for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”.

Hey, it's all morally relative, right? Some Americans think that Iranians are barbarians for executing mouthy teenagers. Some Europeans think that Americans are barbarians for executing retarded murderers.

Not everything has to be put in terms of the US.

So what's the point of the post? If you feel revulsion at this, it has to be in terms of something.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:46 AM on August 23, 2004


loquacious wrote
> Wasn't this on Fark like two days ago?

I don't read Fark. Has a link on Fark become another disqualifier for posting it at MeFi?
posted by tbc at 8:47 AM on August 23, 2004


Someone's used the term "brown people" in an attempt to straw-man an opposing argument; that happens really very frequently.

"Straw-man," contrary to the example that people have tried to set here (it shows up in about 1/4 of the threads), isn't just a magical term that negates. I used the term to anticipate the people that I'm guessing will express the strongest horror to this news story-- folks who try to justify their loathing of non-christians by painting every single musilm as a nutjob with C4 strapped to his/her body. And they'll show up. Give it a while.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:48 AM on August 23, 2004


Where would the internet be if the U.S. government executed retarded people for mouthing off?
posted by destro at 8:49 AM on August 23, 2004


I could only possibly consider treason serious enough to merit the execution of a teenager.

How barbaric.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:51 AM on August 23, 2004


Brownpau, you kill me.
posted by bwg at 8:52 AM on August 23, 2004


Since when does deeming something appropriate and necessary in certain situations mean you're comfortable with it and think it's fine?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:52 AM on August 23, 2004


Since when does deeming something appropriate and necessary in certain situations mean you're comfortable with it and think it's fine?

Is this a defense of Sharia law?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:57 AM on August 23, 2004


Since when does deeming something appropriate and necessary in certain situations mean you're comfortable with it and think it's fine?

Don't do that. Obviously, I used "fine" to mean "acceptable", not "pretty awesome," and if it wasn't acceptable, you wouldn't do it.

Armitage, your last comment was indeed pretty awesome!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:58 AM on August 23, 2004


Wasn't this on Fark like two days ago?

Yeah, so? There's a lot of news-ish stuff on Fark. It slips though. ;)
posted by RobbieFal at 8:59 AM on August 23, 2004


If you accept that its fine to execute people of less-than-normal mental development (children or the handicapped), why quibble over the offenses that warrant it?

The point of this story (again, assuming it is true), is that a girl was capriciously and publicly hanged for not being a virgin and mouthing off to the judge. It's not a question of capacity. How you can equate this to the United States executing a mentally handicapped person for murder legally and according to statutes that can be challenged is beyond me. And it's also a question for another thread.

I am also opposed to the American death penalty, but you can certainly appreciate that their legal system is subject to far more oversight and scrutiny than the Iranian system, and that murder as an offense is very different than almost any other crime, especially, say, having sex outside of marriage.

As for the method of execution, I'd say there's a world of difference between a lethal injection and a public town square hanging. One may be morally and ethically wrong, the other is grotesque and abhorrent.
posted by loquax at 8:59 AM on August 23, 2004


tbc: Eh, I don't know. I know a lot of people loath NewsFilter-ish links, and stuff that can be easily found through news.google and hundreds of other sources. *shrug* Don't worry about it. The thread'll get nuked if it needs to be, and if not, whatever.

This begs the question, though: Does "mouthing off" to a hardline Iranian judge qualify one for a Darwin Award?
posted by loquacious at 9:00 AM on August 23, 2004


Sorry. I couldn't help myself.
posted by loquacious at 9:03 AM on August 23, 2004


As for the method of execution, I'd say there's a world of difference between a lethal injection and a public town square hanging. One may be morally and ethically wrong, the other is grotesque and abhorrent.

There's only a "world of difference" if you accept capital punishment in the first place. If you consider capital punishment itself to be "grotesque and abhorrent", then the method and place is irrelevant.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:03 AM on August 23, 2004


Since when does accepting something mean you're comfortable with it?
posted by techgnollogic at 9:04 AM on August 23, 2004


Could someone reboot techgnollogic?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:06 AM on August 23, 2004


I could only possibly consider treason serious enough to merit the execution of a teenager.

But in a theocracy, mouthing off to the high priests is treason.
posted by soyjoy at 9:15 AM on August 23, 2004


Curley: RE: Straw-man: The terms frequency of use or misuse does not alter the fact that you were implying that those who take exception to your argument must be utterly ignorant with regards to international politics and consequentially are likely to label whole nations ones of “brown people”. To suggest that my use of the term hinged on a belief that it is some kind of tool whereby any reasoning can be avoided would, ironically enough, be an example of attempting to present a straw-man representation of my actual assertion; one that had been misrepresented in the interests of making it more easily refutable.
posted by ed\26h at 9:22 AM on August 23, 2004


Shanks: Is it your belief then, that if we accept capital punishment is wrong then it is ethically no worse to, say, torture someone to death over the course of many weeks, than give them a lethal injection or other form of painless execution?
posted by ed\26h at 9:26 AM on August 23, 2004


Let he who lives in a country that doesn't execute retarded people cast the first stone.

(meaning any American in this thread had better decry all executions of people with diminished responsibility, not just ones in countries full of brown people with a different religion.)


Oh, phew! I guess it's okay to kill teenagers on a whim, then.

How pathetic a human being must you be if, presented with a piece of news such as this one, your first reaction is to go into the customary US-bashing mode? I sure hope I don't catch you decrying any American act or policy without condemning every single other fucking instance of something similar (or, as in this case, strikingly different) around the globe.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:30 AM on August 23, 2004


According to the Fark thread, the girl chewed the judge's ass out and disrobed in court, which was basically about as poor a choice as could ever be made in that court: the equivalent in America, perhaps, of leaping over the judge's stand and throttling the bastard. The judge had a personal vendetta to settle, and over there it's easy enough to execute one's revenge.

There's also a hint that perhaps the girl had some dirt on the judge or the judge's family, relating to the charges she was brought up on. Again, it became a personal vendetta issue, and the judge wins again.

It's important to remember that social change usually happens slowly. Iran isn't going to change overnight. Atrocious acts like this will continue to occur, but as the citizens become more informed of the alternatives, pressure will build toward change.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:34 AM on August 23, 2004


How pathetic a human being must you be if, presented with a piece of news such as this one, your first reaction is to go into the customary US-bashing mode?

How arrogant a human being must you be if, presented with a criticism of customary wingnut hypocrisy, your first reaction is to assume that criticising wingnuts is the same thing as US-bashing?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:39 AM on August 23, 2004


Is it your belief then, that if we accept capital punishment is wrong then it is ethically no worse to, say, torture someone to death over the course of many weeks, than give them a lethal injection or other form of painless execution?

To quote Winston Churchill, "Madam, we've already established what you are, now we're just haggling over the price."
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:43 AM on August 23, 2004


Oh, phew! I guess it's okay to kill teenagers on a whim, then.

Which is, of course, not what I was saying (and you're smart enough to know it, but not principled enough to avoid trying a redirect). I said, in effect, "executing kids and handicapped folks is abhorrent, but we do it."

I sure hope I don't catch you decrying any American act or policy without condemning every single other fucking instance of something similar (or, as in this case, strikingly different) around the globe.

Again, you've perverted the source of my indignation. But rest assured, if it's wrong here it's wrong everywhere. I know how much you conservatives hate cultural relativism. Except for when it comes to things like racial discrimination (ostensibly think its bad here but "just their way" in Africa) and the separation of church and state (good in islamic countries but bad here).
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:45 AM on August 23, 2004


This begs the question, though: Does "mouthing off" to a hardline Iranian judge qualify one for a Darwin Award?

How does social change occur in your universe, loquatious? Everyone toes the line quietly until Superman arrives?

Also, I'm with Major Curley; and on preview, FFF makes a tangential but similar point to mine. History is dotted with people who have surrendered their lives to make what may seem at the moment to be unimportant points.

What happened was fucked up. And now look, we're talking about it. Darwin award, indeed.
posted by squirrel at 9:46 AM on August 23, 2004


Are there Arabic speakers who can tell us the reliability of this site? This seems like major news to me if true.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:50 AM on August 23, 2004


They speak Farsi in Iran, not Arabic. Although it is (more or less) the same alphabet.
posted by cell divide at 9:54 AM on August 23, 2004


Sorry, that's Persian isn't it.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:55 AM on August 23, 2004


Damn you!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:55 AM on August 23, 2004


I don't see where the U.S. comes into this, at all. Making the U.S. the moral barometer of the world is pretty dangerous if you ask me, no matter what kind of bullshit we happen to be pulling at the time.

Ideally, I'm opposed to capital punishment on the grounds that no legal system can be perfect. The legal system in this case -- imbued with holy authority and inseparable from faith -- is just asking for trouble in this regard. This basically makes the specific "crimes" she's being punished for -- as ridiculous as they are, at least to Western observers -- largely irrelevant.
posted by neckro23 at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2004


Ahh, who cares. All muslims are nutjobs with C4 strapped to their bodies.

It's important to remember that social change usually happens slowly. Iran isn't going to change overnight. Atrocious acts like this will continue to occur, but as the citizens become more informed of the alternatives, pressure will build toward change.

Any idea what channel the atrocious acts will be on? I am guessing a pay-per-view channel. I hope Charter carries it.
posted by a3matrix at 9:57 AM on August 23, 2004


It is not US bashing when you are stating the obvious.
The US has not ratified the Convention for the Rights of the Child, along with Somalia. Every other country in the UN has done so. This makes the rest of the world suspicious about the US' values.

The situation in Iran, as regards this particular tragedy, is not so different to that in the US. The poor will be killed to satisfy the empowered, justice need not apply. That the poor suffer is not unusual, but that they be murdered by the state for their misdemeanors is. Have we not socially evolved at all since the Roman empire?

Perhaps the problem that Miguel highlighted is the lack of world perspective/empathy that some in the US seem to have.
posted by asok at 10:00 AM on August 23, 2004


asok, did Iran's ratification of the Convention help Ateqeh Sahaleh in some way that I overlooked?

This post was about a vindictive Iranian judge who made it his personal mission to bring about the execution of a 16-year-old girl who disrupted his courtroom. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the United States. If you're in this thread complaining about something related to the United States, then you're merely changing the subject. I recommend that you start a new thread. It could say, I dunno, "United States executes retarded murderers," or "United States fails to ratify meaningless UN accord," or something like that.
posted by coelecanth at 10:22 AM on August 23, 2004


Mefi is a little slow in picking up on this - lots of blogs and news sites had this a few days go. Not that timeliness matters in this case - what difference would it make?

Being the father of an opinionated 16 year old girl, who has the power of decision on her own body, I am revolted at this. Executed for having sex and protesting at her sentence?

But hang on - another nation executes people for their sexual experiences: "The Reuters news agency quotes the Saudi Interior Ministry as saying the three men were beheaded for "sodomy and marrying each other." Execution by beheading is the traditional form of capital punishment in the Saudi kingdom.

We agree that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Iran are Islamic theocracies;
that they have capital punishment for some sexual experiences;
but hey! - don't dare connect the dots and say that Islamism (as opposed to Islam) is a brutal ideology that abrogates basic human rights and needs to be checked. Don't dare point out that beheading is a traditional Islamic punishment.

asok:
what difference did it make to Ateqeh Sahaleh [yeah, everybody - she has a name] that her government signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child? No international law will have supremacy over the Islamic constitution of Iran: just the same theory - domestic constitutional supremacy - that the Bush [and, I seem to remember, other US] Administrations use to resign from, or decline to accept, many International treaties.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:22 AM on August 23, 2004


US law seems to be somewhat flexible with regards to the death penalty (in the sense that it changes according to societal norms). Coker v. Georgia concluded that:

"the sentence of death for the crime of rape is grossly disproportionate and excessive punishment, and is therefore forbidden by the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment"

But, this is based on such as "that death is a disproportionate penalty for rape is strongly indicated by the objective (sic) evidence of present public judgment"

So, basically, it's OK to execute people for an offence as long as public opinion supports it. Without evidence to the contrary, I could believe that Iranians would support the execution (under Sharia law) of a woman who had sex outside marriage.


posted by daveg at 10:23 AM on August 23, 2004


If you're in this thread complaining about something related to the United States, then you're merely changing the subject.

So seriously, what is the subject? That people living in hard-line Islamic theocracies are subject to a "justice" system that the vast majority of people in the West consider unjust, arbitrary, and harsh? Is there anyone who doesn't know that?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:32 AM on August 23, 2004


Taking the Devil's Advocate position, you have to be inviting death to rip your clothes off and swear at a judge of Islamic law.

Look, it totally sucks she died, it's wrong, it an outrage, etc, etc. But, also, there's a (poor) argument to be made that this was just darwinism taking its course weeding out the less-than-intelligent.
posted by shepd at 10:37 AM on August 23, 2004


I don't see why this could considered for a Darwin Award. Darwin Awards are usually awarded to idiots who find creative and, in hindsight, incredibly stupid ways to kill themselves.

This girl was executed for being a teenager and getting caught for it. Yes it was probably stupid to mouth off and drop trou in front of the judge but that certainly doesn't even begin to give him the right to end her life. It absolutely demonstrates how out of control he is and he should be removed from the bench.

This isn't about capital punishment, this is about a reckless power mad judge killing people he has a beef with.
posted by fenriq at 10:40 AM on August 23, 2004


Further useful details on the case:
It may be noted that although according to the Islamic Republic’s own penal laws the presence of an attorney for the defense [is supposed to be] mandatory, regardless of the defendant’s ability to afford one, nevertheless the girl remained without an attorney. Her unfortunate father, while tears poured from his eyes, went about the city beseeching the townspeople for money to hire an attorney who in the least would provide his daughter with a line of defense.

The young girl was buried the same day after her execution but during that same night her corpse was disinterred by unknown individuals and robbed. The theft remains unexplained and the Rajabi family has filed a complaint.

The 16 year old girl’s male companion, who had been arrested as well, received 100 lashes and, after the Islamic punishment was carried out, released.

She was basically executed because she defended herself, lost her cool and said the wrong thing.

Now, having all finished preaching to the choir: what action are you gonna take?
posted by dash_slot- at 10:45 AM on August 23, 2004


Incident occurs demonstrating man's inhumanity to (wo)man.

MetaFilter gets into a froth about it; signifying nothing.
posted by Blue Stone at 10:50 AM on August 23, 2004


what action are you gonna take?
We better invade. Do they have oil?
/evil amberglow

are they under sanctions? can they be made to be?
posted by amberglow at 10:57 AM on August 23, 2004


It's important to remember that social change usually happens slowly. Iran isn't going to change overnight. Atrocious acts like this will continue to occur, but as the citizens become more informed of the alternatives, pressure will build toward change.

Let's hope so, but I have yet to see tangible signs of progress in Iran.


Armitage: How arrogant a human being must you be if, presented with a criticism of customary wingnut hypocrisy, your first reaction is to assume that criticising wingnuts is the same thing as US-bashing?

Curley: meaning any American in this thread had better decry all executions of people with diminished responsibility, not just ones in countries full of brown people with a different religion.

Any American is a wingnut hypocrite, then? No US bashing here at all, my bad.


I know how much you conservatives hate cultural relativism. Except for when it comes to things like racial discrimination (ostensibly think its bad here but "just their way" in Africa) and the separation of church and state (good in islamic countries but bad here).

So the fact that you came into this thread and pre-emptively attacked what you see as American "hypocrisy" while hypocritically ignoring the murder of a teenager, coupled with the fact that I called you on it, makes me a probable racist and religious nut. You'd do great as an Iranian judge!
posted by Krrrlson at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2004


Ynoxas, it happened? Did it really? Can you point me to a non-activist news source reporting this news? Actually, I'd just as easily assume a story planted by an administration that wants to build jusitificatoin for invasion. You know, because enough people haven't died yet.
posted by fleener at 11:03 AM on August 23, 2004


>This girl was executed for being a teenager and getting caught for it.

That being said, plenty of teenagers die for "being teenagers", even in countries without the death penalty. Scary, but true.
posted by shepd at 11:05 AM on August 23, 2004


I think that maybe if MORE Iranian women behaved this way, some would die, sure, but what about a Revolution?

I mean, there are women who don't WANT to wear a veil, kowtow to others, and act like they don't have a brain in their heads.

Maybe this chick was like "To Hell with you, kill me then." I mean, wasn't it Patrick Henry who said: "Give me Liberty or Give me Death."? Maybe she was sick of feeling like a slave to the beliefs and policies of others and was just saying the same thing.

Sure, because I didn't know her personally, I couldn't say for sure, but just because it wasn't prudent there in Iran doesn't mean she didn't have a compelling reason for doing what she did.

I am pretty sure that she knew darn well the consequences for that kind of behavior and she chose to go that route anyway. All I can think, is that she must have had a damn good reason.

O.P.: it happened? Did it really? Yeah, and that's the whole other thing. I couldn't find a non-activist or non-blog report of this anywhere yet. I didn't go nuts looking, but I did google it and I haven't found anything to corroborate this story except other blogs and activist sites.
posted by erratic frog at 11:10 AM on August 23, 2004


I wish they were, amberglow - but it's a long time since sanctions worked as they need to. Would they work? Banning the mullahs that run Iran from international venues, etc, would not make 'em question their religion, would it?

People the world over know that they allow their religion to give cover to brutal judicial decisions. They know that simple mercy - a component of most monotheistic religions - should override thier notions of justice. But it doesn't - and lord knows, it don't look like it's changing soon.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:11 AM on August 23, 2004


Sounds bad. When do we invade?
posted by alumshubby at 11:20 AM on August 23, 2004


A) Is there an authoritative source for this story?

B) If this incident occurred as described, it illustrates the appalling cruelty of the Iranian legal system. We know that Iran is among the many of the world's nations which have cruel, arbitrary, theocratic legal systems.

C) As a US citizen, what should I do about this? Unfortunately, as a US citizen, there is nothing I can do about this, as my government maintains no diplomatic relations with Iran. I have written the State Department and my representatives in Congress about miscarriages of justice in other nations when they have been brought to my attention, though.

As a resident of the world, I can write the appropriate commissions at the UN and bring this matter, and my outrage at same, to their attention. I can also give financial support to groups that work to improve civil rights for Iranians (I don't know if there is an equivalent for the Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan, for example), and groups that work to improve civil and human rights around the world (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc.)

D) If I did see an authoritative version of this story, I would be inspired to take those actions.

TBC, I'm wondering what action or reaction you were hoping to inspire with this FPP.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:25 AM on August 23, 2004


But, also, there's a (poor) argument to be made that this was just darwinism taking its course weeding out the less-than-intelligent.

But the judge hasn't been weeded out...
posted by juiceCake at 11:28 AM on August 23, 2004


I'm wondering what action or reaction you were hoping to inspire with this FPP.

Well, he's got one slothful surfer to finally open his wallet and join Amnesty International. It's a start. Developing...
posted by dash_slot- at 11:35 AM on August 23, 2004


This is an atrocious, heinous story, but I haven't seen anything about it on either hoder's IranFilter or his personal site. I'd love to hear his take on it, if it really happened, and if there are any more details.
posted by mathowie at 11:36 AM on August 23, 2004


Pretty_Generic, I don't know how reliable that site is, but here are some interesting excerpts from the article (keep in mind I read Farsi at a Fifth grade level).

"....by Haji Reza, who is also the chief of the proescutor's office for the town of Neka [!]..."

"This execution took place even though the girl was 16 years old according to her birth certificate, although the town prosecutor's office claimed she was 22."

"
[Haji Reza] put the noose around the 16 year old girl's neck himself, and gave the signal for the crane to hoist her up by the neck."

"The man arrested with the 16 year old was sentenced to 100 lashes by Haji Reza, and was released after the administration of the punishment."


So this scumbag Haji Reza was judge, jury, prosecutor and executioner. The sadistic bastard didn't even grant her a quick death with a traditional hanging.

I'm with brownpau.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:37 AM on August 23, 2004


Devils Slide and brownpau--if this story is true, and the people of Neka are at the mercy of a sadistic megalomaniac of a local magistrate who thinks he is "judge, jury, prosecutor, and executioner", how would an attack on their village improve their already-terrible quality of life?
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:43 AM on August 23, 2004


So seriously, what is the subject? That people living in hard-line Islamic theocracies are subject to a "justice" system that the vast majority of people in the West consider unjust, arbitrary, and harsh? Is there anyone who doesn't know that?

I wish that was the first comment in the thread.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:46 AM on August 23, 2004


If true, isn't this a clear violation of the UN convention on the rights of the child, signed-up to by Iran?
posted by kaemaril at 11:47 AM on August 23, 2004


Look, it totally sucks she died, it's wrong, it an outrage, etc, etc. But, also, there's a (poor) argument to be made that this was just darwinism taking its course weeding out the less-than-intelligent.

This is sort of like saying Rosa Parks should have got up and sat in the back of the bus when challenged. If this report is true, this girl spoke truth to power. I wish we would all be that "less-than-intelligent" when it really matters.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:47 AM on August 23, 2004


Sidhedevil, the "site" I refer to is planet Earth. We haven't done a great job as the dominant species if this story is any indication. All I'm saying is let's give the scorpions and cockroaches a shot.

And I took Brownpau's comment as a joke.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:56 AM on August 23, 2004


What does it mean when the Fark thread is more on-topic and interesting than this MeFi one? Disclaimer: I didn't read every comment at Fark. We ought to be able to do better than this.
posted by theora55 at 12:08 PM on August 23, 2004


Sounds bad. When do we invade?

Not soon enough.
posted by Witty at 12:17 PM on August 23, 2004


The sadistic bastard didn't even grant her a quick death with a traditional hanging.

From what I can determine, this is indeed how people are executed in Iran.

Here's a BBC reporter's eyewitness account of a hanging in 2002:
A man in a black suit standing beside Hashem raises his hand, and signals to the crane operator.

The rope goes straight.

A pause and then another signal, and it rises slowly and gently, taking Hashem with it. It seems somehow normal.

The crowd goes suddenly quiet.
And this CNN story from 1997:
Ali Reza Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh, known as the "Tehran Vampire," was whipped more than 200 times with a thick leather belt, then tied to a yellow crane and lifted, legs kicking, high into the air with a rope around his neck. The execution took place in front of victims' families and a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 spectators.
And this page about hanging says:
Suspension hanging:
This method is currently used in Iran and was also used for some executions in Taliban controlled Afghanistan where executees were hanged from the barrels of tanks and from mobile crane jibs. In Iran, both mobile crane and recovery truck jibs have been used. All of these have hydraulic mechanisms for raising them, so the jib serves as both the gallows and the means of getting the prisoner suspended.
So essentially the person being executed strangles to death. I happen to personally think the death penalty is barbaric no matter how and where it is applied, but at least a "long drop" hanging (as practiced in the US, Britain, and elsewhere) seems to be a reasonably quick death.
posted by Vidiot at 12:21 PM on August 23, 2004


Taking the Devil's Advocate position, you have to be inviting death to rip your clothes off and swear at a judge of Islamic law.

What's interesting is that the famed Chrsitian Martyrs of Spain brought about their deaths in a similar fashion. In those times, heresey was punishable by death, so a Christian would get locked up for a meaningless crime, and when he appeared before the judge he would curse Islam and the prophet Muhammad in the worst way possible. The judges were bound by the letter of the law to sentance them to death, even though it has been recorded that some of them felt odd about this, because they were essentially doing exactly what the Christian wanted them to do, which is martyr them.
posted by cell divide at 12:34 PM on August 23, 2004


The US has not ratified the Convention for the Rights of the Child, along with Somalia.


[fade in of image of uncle sam and a starving, flyblown dark chocolate stickboy, jaws and middle fingers thrust outward againt a field of waving stars and stripes, as stirring martial music reaches a crescendo]

narrative voice: "the US and somalia. standing together. staying the course."
posted by quonsar at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2004


Vidiot: 1) Britain does not practice any form of execution; 2) Some states in the US still make use of the barbaric electric chair.
posted by daveg at 1:18 PM on August 23, 2004


Vidiot, the Mullahs are very creative when it comes to methods of execution. They only have "regular" hangings when they feel lackadaisical, which isn't very often.

I must admit I haven't kept up with the subject ever since I saw a video of three men being stoned to death by a mob led by a Mullah. I still can't get those images out of my head.
posted by Devils Slide at 1:19 PM on August 23, 2004


My "Darwin Award" comment was a joke, and a bad one at that. I wasn't expecting people to run with it seriously. Bad MeFites! Bad loquacious!

But in any joke, there's a little bit of truth. One should usually pick their battles and take baby steps and all that.

I would never recommend not not fighting for your rights, or equality, or true freedom. But I would recommend seriously considering the risks of it, and considering what method one would choose to fight for it.

On a vastly lesser, and less tragic scale - and as one example - I believe that marijuana should be legalized or decriminalized. That doesn't mean I'm going to go down to the local police station, spark up a fatty and taunt the cops while running around naked. Nor would I do so in a court of law on an appearance related to marijuana.

No, I'm not trying to argue that the girl's death was her fault at all. Just trying to defuse the Darwin Award comment. I'm pretty sure that if I was female in Iran, I'd have flipped out a long time ago.

But it seems none of us know enough details about this case, other then that she certainly shouldn't be dead.
posted by loquacious at 1:29 PM on August 23, 2004


erratic frog, i like that--making her an international symbol of resistance and stuff, but then i think of that guy who stood in front of the tank at tienamen (sp?) square, and how that didn't help at all. it's sad, but until we have new leadership, there's not even a bully pulpit for us to shout from about this.

dash, i think sanctions can and have worked. They're always worth a try, at least.
posted by amberglow at 1:32 PM on August 23, 2004


Is it churlish to suggest that the biggest sanction of all against these repressive states would be to stop using so much goddamn oil?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:42 PM on August 23, 2004


You are right, daveg -- I was under the impression that the death penalty was still extant in Britain for cases of treason or piracy. Upon doing a bit of research, I found that that was the case until 1999, when the UK's death penalty was formally abolished.

And yes, some states do still use the electric chair. As I noted above, I said "I happen to personally think the death penalty is barbaric no matter how and where it is applied." That still holds true.

I believe I've seen that video as well, Devils Slide...about three years ago, I think. It was appalling.

As is this whole business in Iran.
posted by Vidiot at 1:43 PM on August 23, 2004


I'm a long time leftist and I've shed blood for the cause of Internationalism, but the ugly inhumanity of some of the people masquerading here as leftists makes me wonder, trying to remain an optimist, just how many of them are provocateurs merely trying to give a bad name to the liberal left.
posted by semmi at 1:50 PM on August 23, 2004


Amberglow: You're right of course, from our perspective. I am not really trying to make her into anything she wasn't, I was just saying that I could see that maybe that's the place where she was coming from. For better or for worse. Same with the Tienemen (sp?) Square guy.

I know it won't change anything now, but I thought about it and since I am not that strange or original, I am sure a lot of others did and will too.

This is what leads to revolution. When the number of people thinking about it reaches critical mass.
posted by erratic frog at 1:53 PM on August 23, 2004


Question-was the girl executed for sex or was she raped? I know in some of these countries a woman is most definitely considered at fault for being attacked.


One other thing. As heinous as all of us think of this, please remember this is a totally different culture who is not going to see things the same way we do. They are not going to change their opinion of women just because we tell them to.
posted by konolia at 1:56 PM on August 23, 2004


Why is everyone so against capital punishment? I don't get it. I do think that the legal system is incapable of reliably applying it, so I'm against it, but not because of the killing part.

If you wouldn't kill someone who was trying to kill you, you're crazy. If you would, then it's a short sweet step to putting them in the chair for bumping off little old ladies. I don't see it.

The sad part to me is that this poor girl was probably crazy from the society, so they kill her for it. Not the first time. Not the last time. I bet there are some young people in Iran right now thinking maybe it's almost time for a little regime change...
posted by ewkpates at 2:01 PM on August 23, 2004


konolia: We shoot people who don't see things the way we do.

See also: WW1, WW2, the American Revolution, the Civil War, ah, the paper...
posted by ewkpates at 2:02 PM on August 23, 2004


Although it's a particular vice of the some backward parts of the Islamic world to see premarital sex as a capital offense, there's nothing distinctively Iranian, or Muslim, or whatever, about what really cost her life -- getting all up in the face of the guy who runs a tough neighborhood. They'd kill you for that on the South Side of Chicago, too.
posted by MattD at 2:05 PM on August 23, 2004


vidiot: true, but we have not executed anyone since the 60's. We consider that then is when we abolished it.

Having said that, I personally am wondering whether it's a sensible position. Harold Shipman killed 100's of people, mostly elderly. Why does he get to live? We know - without a shadow of a doubt - what he did. So why, without reference to religious morality, should he live?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:10 PM on August 23, 2004


MattD: he wouldn't have the Great Seal of the State tho.

This guy in Iran was legally mandated to do what he did: Big Dog Dick from the Southside would be at risk of reciprocal punishment - which the bastard in Neka deserves also.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:15 PM on August 23, 2004


If you wouldn't kill someone who was trying to kill you, you're crazy. If you would, then it's a short sweet step to putting them in the chair for bumping off little old ladies.

The step from the use of deadly force in self defence to the cold-blooded execution of a prisoner seems rather longer and more bitter to me than it apparently does to you. If someone's in a position to be "put in the chair", then presumably they are already in prison, which generally renders them incapable of bumping off any more little old ladies. Killing them in that state protects no-one. One can argue that such an execution acts as a deterrent, but it mostly looks like vengeance to me.

Harold Shipman killed 100's of people, mostly elderly. Why does he get to live?

He gets to live because he is alive. In order for him to not be alive, someone would have to kill him. Is it really any more complicated than that?
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:35 PM on August 23, 2004


This post was about a vindictive Iranian judge who made it his personal mission to bring about the execution of a 16-year-old girl who disrupted his courtroom.

It's pretty obvious, I think, that this judge had a big chip on his shoulder and a vengence streak a mile deep. It should also be obvious, I should hope, that this is an atypical case.

Not so different, really, from the Hanging Judge or even crazy Sheriffs. It's not worth the time to dig up more examples: you all know of miscreant cops, sheriffs, judges, and such that make sure that if they're pissed off, they get retribution.

The Iranian legal system isn't at all like Western legal systems, at least not in regards to the checks and balances we usually have. And, yes, Iranian punishments seem horrendous to us.

At the same time, the people living in that nation know what the potential consequences are when they break the law. How much sympathy are we to have, when someone consciously and deliberately sets about to maximize the consequences?

Much ado about nothing. Change will come if and when it is desired by the mass public. Until then all we can do is hope that we lead by good example, and support those who agitate for change, while simultaneously recognizing that there may be hard costs for such agitation.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:27 PM on August 23, 2004


He gets to live because he is alive.

Harold Shipman killed himself last January.

Not that I think it would have been better if he had been executed. Execution is barbaric, "deserved" or not.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 3:27 PM on August 23, 2004


A detail that might have been missed. It was stated that the girl tore her clothes off, but this may be misleading. For some time now, there has been a crackdown on girls in Iran wearing less that concealing clothing, involving mass arrests and other abuse.
Though I can't say for sure, her "disrobing" might have been as little as taking her veil off, being irritated by it and not being used to having to wear it. I would suggest that the "court" demanded that she appear before the judge in a full burqa.
I would also posit that the judge was severely verbally abusive to her, in that Sharia courts don't hold to decorum as much as those in the west, and might have been calling her foul names for some time before she went off on him.

Last but not least, the Iranians are ethnically "Indo-European" for the most part, not Arab. Fair skin is common, as is a lighter "Meditteranean" olive skin. Some even have blue eyes.
posted by kablam at 3:40 PM on August 23, 2004


At the same time, the people living in that nation know what the potential consequences are when they break the law. How much sympathy are we to have, when someone consciously and deliberately sets about to maximize the consequences?

I would imagine that most of us would feel a lot of sympathy, given that we think the law itself is unjust.

As for consciousness and deliberation, most sixteen-year-olds don't possess enough of either to warrant death for their actions, I think.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:43 PM on August 23, 2004


Shouldn't it be "hung" instead of "hanged"?
posted by destro at 3:44 PM on August 23, 2004


Shouldn't it be "hung" instead of "hanged"?

No.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:55 PM on August 23, 2004


Last but not least, the Iranians are ethnically "Indo-European" for the most part, not Arab.

As are Pakistanis and most Hindu speakers. But ask the guy in the beer aisle if Persians are closer to europeans or arabs.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:08 PM on August 23, 2004


FFF:
How much sympathy are we to have, when someone consciously and deliberately sets about to maximize the consequences?

Much ado about nothing. Change will come if and when it is desired by the mass public.


You sound like a callous apologist for the regime. That's possibly the most offensive statement on this site for a very long time.

Much ado about nothing = the life of a girl - we could call her Juliet, if that makes the meaning stand out a little better for ya. She committed what appears to be a consensual sexual act with a guy who is still alive; she didn't have legal representation, which led to her spat with a judge; and then to her death.

I actually don't believe that you mean what you have said. You can't.

Tell her distraught dad that it's much ado about nothing. To his face.

Change doesn't always come, fff: see Tianenmen Square.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:12 PM on August 23, 2004


Mayor Curley, kablam, et al;
surely race is irrelevant. This poor girl and millions of others live under a tyrannical regime which cannot last. Their being closer to Indians or Euro's or Arabs - doesn't matter. All of those races have adherents to the Islamist ideology, and adherents to other philosophies, too.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:16 PM on August 23, 2004


I've heard the news too, yet I can't confrim it. After a quick research, I found out that everyone has got the news from a report on Radio Farda's website, which is backed by the U.S. government (International Broadcasting Bureau).

The report was written by Fereydoon Zarnegar, who I guess works in the Radio's office in Prague. But even in the his repot, there is no mention of any local reporter, paper or reliable source. The reporter quotes several times from the citizens of the small town (Neka, in North of Iran) about details of the incident, and even talks to a lawyer in tehran about it. But all this can not convince me that the news is completely true.

Moreover, websites such as ActivistChat have proven very much unreliable in previous incidenents and I never trust what the say, unless I see it in one or two difference reliable sources.
posted by hoder at 5:15 PM on August 23, 2004


FFF, I couldn't agree less.

Surely people who live under repressive regimes are to be admired for protesting the cruelty and illogic of those regimes, even when those people know that the consequences of their protest are likely to be severe?
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:16 PM on August 23, 2004


I just want to duck in here to encourage the Americans present not to pop off with a huge, condemnatory sense of superiority about this. We are far from perfect, and our laws are hardly free from harsh religious doctrine.

  • The US executes criminals also, including the mentally ill, and even, sometimes, the innocent.
  • We may not execute drug offenders, but our law is full of moralistic crap that comes from the good book. Remember the couple in Texas, arrested for sodomy?
  • The US has killed hundreds of innocents, including many children, in the Middle East this very year.
  • The US is governed by a religious zealot, who talks openly about God in all his speeches.
  • This very year, the US has faced issues such as displaying the 10 Commandments in a public court, a constitutional ammendment to defend the "sacred" instituion of marriage, and whether it's appropriate to invoke the Xtian God on classroom walls, our money, etc.

    It's a good instinct to decry this kind of "justice" in Iran, but let's not get too high and mighty in the US. This is a highly religious country, too. Perhaps we're not hanging our own teenagers for their language, but we do enjoy bombing other people's teenagers for our own dividends' sake.

  • posted by scarabic at 5:23 PM on August 23, 2004


    Good god, I'm being hunted by dash-slot and his special brand of hyperbole again.

    Does Iran have a legal system that doesn't hold a candle to ours? Hell, yes.

    Is Iran making it a habit to slaughter their sixteen year-old girls? No, I don't believe so.

    Can we find examples within our own countries that are abhorrent? Hell, yes. Many.

    Do we interpret those aberrative examples as representative of our legal systems? No, I don't believe so.

    Should we be condemning a nation for the actions of one miscreant judge? No, I don't believe so.

    Will Iran change? Yes. And is China changing? Yes. Unquestionably.

    It would be nice if every country on earth were to suddenly change overnight to one of our preferred political systems, with checks-and-balances, comprehensive citizens' rights, and all that good shit.

    It ain't gonna happen. Change will happen as slowly for other countries as it has for ours. Our modern society is very new to us: it was only two generations ago we had slaves, and a generation ago that we finally recognized women as people.

    Unless y'all have a plan to invade Iran and force it to change, this is all a bunch of wanking. The very best we can hope for is that the people of Iran are as appalled by this as we are, and that this event will help solidify citizens' demands for change.

    And if the people of Iran aren't demanding that change, then so be it. It's not my place to force them into something they apparently do not desire.

    sidhedevil: yes.
    posted by five fresh fish at 5:30 PM on August 23, 2004


    It should also be obvious, I should hope, that this is an atypical case.

    Really? Funny how these atypical cases keep popping up. Or how about the Canadian journalist who was apparently murdered in prison by accident? Thanks, you've set my mind at ease.

    At the same time, the people living in that nation know what the potential consequences are when they break the law. How much sympathy are we to have, when someone consciously and deliberately sets about to maximize the consequences?

    It's nice to talk that way when you're not a woman in Iran, isn't it? Your callousness is disgraceful. Hey, wait a minute, wasn't it you who was so recently accusing others of heartlessness? Aww...
    posted by Krrrlson at 6:43 PM on August 23, 2004


    muslim execution (poor quality .asf file)
    Right Click and Save As
    (warning: it is a guy getting impaled)
    (don't click if you don't want to see it)
    posted by Trik at 7:00 PM on August 23, 2004


    MetaFilter: get into a froth
    posted by bwg at 7:03 PM on August 23, 2004


    Oh and I'll be taking the file down in 3 hrs.
    So grab a copy and mirror it if you have the bandwith.
    posted by Trik at 7:04 PM on August 23, 2004


    fff:
    Don't get too worried that you're being hunted - it seems to be coincidence that your insouicance towards this girl's death [much ado about nothing] occurred in a thread which I am also participating in. I hope so anyway.

    My reference to your attitude is not hype: that's a restrained comment, considering your lack of empathy. .. such as - It'll change, eventually. and
    Blame the victim - How much sympathy are we to have, when someone consciously and deliberately sets about to maximize the consequences.

    it was only two generations ago we had slaves, and a generation ago that we finally recognized women as people.
    Is generation a recognised measure? Is the 'recognition of women as people' commonly agreed as happening at a particular date? Please, try to make your comments comprehensible.

    Change will happen as slowly for other countries as it has for ours... try telling that to the last Shah. Revolutions happen quite suddenly, as we all know. In your country as well as in Iran.

    Should we be condemning a nation for the actions of one miscreant judge? No, I don't believe so.
    Can I see the results of the last survey you did on the Iranian theo-judiciary? Does it indicate that most shari'a judges are not miscreants? Do the judges have independence from the government? Are they supported by the people?

    Here's where you show that you really don't know what you're talking about:
    And if the people of Iran aren't demanding that change, then so be it. It's not my place to force them into something they apparently do not desire. Are you under some peculiar presumption that Iran is a democracy?
    posted by dash_slot- at 7:09 PM on August 23, 2004


    As I said above, there are things anyone can do about repressive judicial systems anywhere in the world.

    I'm still interested to know what the OP wanted us to do, though.

    Whether or not this is an accurate report, there is a great deal of data that suggest that the current judicial system in Iran is capriciously administered as well as being inherently repressive.

    It is true that every judicial system in every nation around the world is capriciously administered from time to time, and a case can be made for the ways in which every judicial system in every nation violates the rights of some of its citizens at some times.

    However, the idea that one can't condemn outrages in other countries before one's own country is perfect is ridiculous.

    Dash_slot, though Iran is not a democracy, it is more democratic than many other countries in the Middle East. And, yes, there is a lot of energy within Iran for judicial reform.

    So, FFF, if people in Iran could speak out freely without fear of, oh, I don't know, being hanged, I guess they could probably enact some meaningful judicial reforms. But since that's not a possibility for them, my guess is that they would and do welcome the work of international NGOs and the support of private citizens in the work they are doing.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 8:39 PM on August 23, 2004


    FFF, where do you live where it was "only two generations ago we had slaves"? Because here in the US, slavery ended in the 1860s. That's a hell of a lot more than "two generations ago".
    posted by Sidhedevil at 8:40 PM on August 23, 2004


    Sidhedevil: Two generations. Yes, those men are exceptionally long-lived. Nonetheless, within my lifetime there have been people who directly experienced slavery in America. Their children are the second generation, and are presumably still alive today.

    So, dash, if my attitude of "slow change" is the wrong one, pray tell what you would have the world do.

    Keep in mind, naturally, that there is already pressure from within the country for political reform; and that the worst cases most frequently happen in rural areas that are mainly very small (<5 000 people) villages where change happens slowest.

    Finally, note also this:
    The [Iranian] Constitution guarantees equal treatment for men and women before the law. Commensurate with the Islamic code, all human, political, economic, social and cultural rights are guaranteed to women. It obligates the Government to safeguard women's rights in the areas of motherhood, family values, marital rights, and support. The civil code provides that men and women should enjoy equal rights in land and livestock ownership, employment opportunities, social security benefits and application for commercial credit and loans. Efforts have been made, including public awareness programmes on radio and TV, and the addition of discussion of women's rights in school and literacy campaign programmes, to remove the inequalities that women have long suffered.1
    Change is happening in Iran. It is moving towards equality, fairness, and all that groovy stuff. We gave ourselves a hundred years to get there. Let's allow them some time, too.
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 PM on August 23, 2004


    Is the 'recognition of women as people' commonly agreed as happening at a particular date?

    yes, in canada women were first recognized as "persons" in 1929 so it's been much longer than one generation. traditionally a generation is meant to represent a 20-25 year period, is it not...?
    posted by t r a c y at 9:45 PM on August 23, 2004


    From Amnesty International: the girl may have been mentally ill.
    posted by Krrrlson at 9:47 PM on August 23, 2004


    My denouncement in this thread is of the hysterionics over something that has happened in a culture that lags ours by at least two generations*, while our own atrocities which we could do something about pass by without so much as a furrowing of the brow.

    Where is our sense of scale?

    Where is our outrage for this: London, UK, where some 8000 sex slaves -- some of them but children -- are being raped, sold, and whored-out right in our own back yard?

    Perhaps one Iranian girl being executed for breaking the law equals thousands of enslaved East Europeans being raped?

    I don't think so.

    But perhaps I'm in the minority. I know Iran is going to progress. I'm not so sure about us.

    *two generations = the children of today's children, ie. forty to sixty years hence.
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 PM on August 23, 2004


    This Story Is A Hoax

    it hasn't appeared on any news sources or human rights watch etc etc. my friends in iran say it's false.
    posted by quarsan at 10:07 PM on August 23, 2004


    quarsan - Apparently Amnesty International took it seriously enough to issue a statement about it.

    My denouncement in this thread is of the hysterionics over something that has happened in a culture that lags ours by at least two generations...

    Try several centuries.

    ...while our own atrocities which we could do something about pass by without so much as a furrowing of the brow.

    I'll just wait for you to present proof for this allegation. Hint: the fact that people don't immediately furrow their brows about their cultural atrocities during condemnation of *another* culture's atrocity does not count.
    posted by Krrrlson at 10:18 PM on August 23, 2004


    amnesty international (us) sent a press release about a 'reported' execution, rather than saying it had actually happened. amnesty's main site has nothing on the story.

    so, sorry, it is a hoax.
    posted by quarsan at 10:27 PM on August 23, 2004


    Where is our outrage for this: London, UK, where some 8000 sex slaves -- some of them but children -- are being raped, sold, and whored-out right in our own back yard?

    you mean to say we're not allowed to be outraged at more than one vile incident at once...? phew, what a relief, it was getting so tiresome giving a shit for humanity as a whole.

    i think it's pretty safe to say that humanity is not in any way served by those who comfortably sit back and wait for things to sort themselves out.

    From Amnesty International: the girl may have been mentally ill.

    so then you have to wonder if her "co-defendent" was really her rapist. i don't think that would have made any difference in the outcome tho', all things considered.

    so, sorry, it is a hoax.

    so far you have as much proof it's a hoax as anyone else has it's real. the possibility of it being a hoax is bad in that when the bonafide injustices that will surely occur in the future happen, many people will just assume and ignore. if it's a hoax, you have to wonder to what purpose...? if it was to draw attn to such things, they've gone about it in the wrong way.

    *two generations = the children of today's children, ie. forty to sixty years hence.

    basically. geneticists and anthropologists suggest 15 to 25 years as the number of years per generation. it varies amongst nations and peoples, given the average age of women at the time of child birth.

    posted by t r a c y at 10:34 PM on August 23, 2004


    According to Hoder's comment, this story came from a U.S.-backed news source. Maybe this event occurred, and maybe it didn't. Here in the United States, a sudden onset of concern about the rights and safety of mideast women has recently been used to pave the way to war. Will we be hearing about rape rooms and human shredders next? Forgive my cynicism, but as long as we have Iran in our sights, I will be supersensitive to the potential for prewar propaganda designed to inflame our passions about Iran.
    posted by madamjujujive at 1:06 AM on August 24, 2004


    Maybe this event occurred, and maybe it didn't.

    And it is equally possible that Iran will try to deny it if it did.

    Here in the United States, a sudden onset of concern about the rights and safety of mideast women has recently been used to pave the way to war.

    Doesn't make this any less of a problem. Also from Amnesty International: The execution of Ateqeh Rajabi is the tenth execution of a child offender in Iran recorded by Amnesty International since 1990. Now seeing as how these have come before Bush, and that these are only the ones we've heard about...
    posted by Krrrlson at 9:01 AM on August 24, 2004


    A) FFF, "generation" and "lifetime" are not synonymous. Slavery was two lifetimes ago in the US, not two generations.

    My Canadian grandmother was cared for, for almost all of her childhood, by a housekeeper who had started her life as an enslaved person in the US, so I do have some context for how recent slavery was.

    B) This particular story may well be a fabrication. It wouldn't be the first time, or the last, that atrocities have been fabricated. Atrocities are fabricated for many purposes, including propaganda.

    However, if, in checking out the story, people are inspired (as dash_slot was) to support the work of human and civil rights activists in counteracting documented injustices, that is all to the good, isn't it?
    posted by Sidhedevil at 9:05 AM on August 24, 2004


    Just a note, but the surge of sympathy and support for Ateqeh Sahaleh that some are showing is akin to the support that some want to show for any underdog in any situation where they are being abused in any way by some more empowered person or organisation.

    As dash-slot says, we have plenty to keep us busy in our backyards, before we start 'casting stones'.
    posted by asok at 9:35 AM on August 24, 2004


    There is a HUGE difference between failing to enforce just laws, which is matter of the financial priorities of a society, and the oppression of the people by UNJUST laws and force. So sex slaves is irrelevant.

    Here is the crux of the issue, and a big policy crux it is:

    And if the people of Iran aren't demanding that change, then so be it. It's not my place to force them into something they apparently do not desire.

    Who should the US defend? It's own minorities? The minorities of neighbor states? Minorities around the world? Do we do what we can when we can, given our current resources? OR do we write off state sponsored oppression and murder because it's not our country. That's a bunch of crap. And it overflows, it certainly does. What a state will sponsor against it's own people, it'll sponsor against anybody's.
    posted by ewkpates at 10:00 AM on August 24, 2004


    Are you under some peculiar presumption that Iran is a democracy?

    It isn't, but its current form of government was the result of a popular uprising, wasn't it?

    In other news: New Jersey Girl Sentenced to Hell for Wheat Allergy.
    posted by scarabic at 10:34 AM on August 24, 2004


    asok - not quite sure what you're getting at. As the thought of military intervention is very scary, after the debacle of Iraq - pressure via NGOs is my preferred action. I am aware that a lot of people on Mefi already do that.

    I am not advocating 'clear up our back yards first'.

    scarabic: Revolutions are not democratic, per se, are they?
    BTW - we did that! WE did that! /Christina Aguilera
    posted by dash_slot- at 10:39 AM on August 24, 2004


    FFF, "generation" and "lifetime" are not synonymous. Slavery was two lifetimes ago in the US, not two generations.

    Good clarification. "Lifetime" still doesn't strike me as quite the right term, but it's certainly better than the loose way I used "generation."

    When one follows-up on Krrlson's claim re: AI & child executions, one discovers this quote on the Amnesty International website.
    Since January 1990 Amnesty International has documented 37 executions of child offenders in eight countries– the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the USA, China and Yemen. The USA carried out 19 executions – more than all other countries combined.
    I take back what I said about Iran being a couple generations behind us. It looks like, when comparing the USA and Iran for kiddy-killing at any rate, we're at about even keel.
    posted by five fresh fish at 4:43 PM on August 24, 2004


    The USA carried out 19 executions – more than all other countries combined... It looks like, when comparing the USA and Iran for kiddy-killing at any rate, we're at about even keel.

    Not a bright spot on the US record, but I somehow doubt they were executed for talking back to the judge, having sex, or being rape victims.
    posted by Krrrlson at 7:25 PM on August 24, 2004


    They also were more likely to have a defence counsel, receive a similar punishment to her partner - where a crime has actually been committed - and the Judge would not also have been the jury & executioner.

    I give thanks to the men & women of England who secured these rights for me, I will jealously guard them.
    posted by dash_slot- at 7:49 PM on August 24, 2004


    I guess that makes it okay, then! Rah-rah for us!
    posted by five fresh fish at 9:25 PM on August 24, 2004


    The United States nurtures the same kind of attitude...albeit surreptitiously...remember Matthew Shepherd?
    posted by Beansidhe at 5:24 AM on August 25, 2004


    You rah-rah! all you like: after starting with our common law, them there 'Murcans have been making it up themselves for a while now.

    Anyhoo, ain't you in Canada, fff? They don't execute underaged or under-IQ'd folks there, do they?

    I take your point, Beansidhe* - but most nations have the odd murderous outlaw homophobe. Personally, I think they get off on the power & the violence, and the nature of the hate is a peg on which to hang their excuses.

    *any relation to Sidhedevil?
    posted by dash_slot- at 6:34 AM on August 25, 2004


    Nope, no relation, sorry dash_slot.

    I agree with your comments on the power and the violence though. However, I think more people passively support the violence, even if they don't actively participate in it. After all, someone was gay, so he/she "got what they deserved." At least, that's what my father used to say. He was/is bigoted in so many obnoxious ways.
    posted by Beansidhe at 3:05 PM on August 25, 2004


    Yah, I'm in Canada. I was playing American-by-proxy, 'cause AFAIK it's been a good long time since we executed someone.

    Well, except that guy in Toronto today, who had taken someone hostage. Don't know the details, but apparently the situation was such that the sniper did the deed rather than try to talk it out for endless hours. Judge, jury and executioner...
    posted by five fresh fish at 8:25 PM on August 25, 2004


    They don't execute underaged or under-IQ'd folks there, do they?

    it was 1962 the last time we killed someone convicted of first degree murder in canada, but the death penalty wasn't officially abolished until 1976. history of the dealth penalty in canada

    Well, except that guy in Toronto today

    screw giving the convicted wife and child abuser endless hours of negotiations. he took a shot at his wife in the union stn food court and then the police chased him 'til he grabbed a female student as a hostage up on front st. they talked to him for 40 minutes before taking him out and i'm ok with that time frame. real video clip of the shooting

    if she'd shot him herself it would be self defense - that's what the cops are for in a hostage situation, as far as i'm concerned.
    posted by t r a c y at 10:04 PM on August 25, 2004


    Hey, I'm all for killing egregrious lawbreakers who have caused fatal or near-fatal harm to others.

    Indeed, when a sociopath like that is caught red-handed, I'd prefer to see the court system bypassed and appropriate punishment meted out immediately and with great enthusiasm. They're a cancer. The cure is a good, clean shot to the head.

    note that it is 3AM and I have insomnia. this message may contain hyperbole.
    posted by five fresh fish at 3:18 AM on August 26, 2004


    I admire the skill & training of the Canadian cop - single, clean shot with no physical trauma to the hostage. Great work!

    I can see the argument that he deserved a fair trial - but he kinda ruled out that option and went for 'suicide-by-cop'. It's a free world after all, and I respect his decision as being the right one.
    posted by dash_slot- at 5:11 AM on August 26, 2004


    Why don't all cops have a laser pointer gunsight on their weapons? Wouldn't that make it far more likely that they'll pull off clean shots more often?

    Plus, the little red dot can be a most convincing argument that the situation is no longer under the suspect's control, and that a re-think of the situation may be of highest importance to him...
    posted by five fresh fish at 8:46 AM on August 26, 2004


    It's hard to believe, but it's right. She was sixteen and was hanged in a small northern city of Iran.

    After about ten days, Asieh Amini, a reporter from Women in Iran, finally went to Neka and confirmed the story.
    posted by hoder at 8:39 PM on September 21, 2004


    Not all that hard to believe. Relax and kick into stereotype mode: couldn't you see similar sorts of things going on in tiny backwoods Appalachian towns? Or even forgo the stereotypes and look back fifty years ago, when the KKK were still a force in the rural South: piss off the wrong person, and they'd getcha.

    So it's not at all surprising that this happened in a rural Iranian town. Thank goodness the urban areas are modernizing: they will effect a change in the rural areas over the long run.
    posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 AM on September 22, 2004


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