Urgent Action: Iranian woman to be executed for killing a rapist
October 1, 2003 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Take Action: Iranian woman to be executed for killing a rapist who happened to be the Head of Police Intelligence unit in a southern city of Iran.
Afsaneh Nouroozi was arrested in 1997 after she killed the in Kish, Southern Iran. She allegedly acted in self-defense in order to protect herself from being raped. Afsaneh Nouroozi is now at imminent risk of execution after the death sentence against her was upheld by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei, is the only authority able to grant clemency at this stage. Amnesty International has more detail.
posted by hoder (17 comments total)
According to the Amnesty International report, she was "reportedly" arrested after killing someone who was "allegedly" attempting to rape her.

Glad to see they make sure a case is rock-solid before they take it on.
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:26 PM on October 1, 2003

That's what so nice about a totalitarian theocracy - everyone already knows what is right or wrong! All that remains is the killing.
posted by the fire you left me at 2:30 PM on October 1, 2003

As in previous years, a small number of countries accounted for the vast majority of global executions. Amnesty International received reports of 3,500 executions in China, 167 executions in the Ukraine, 140 executions in the Russian Federation, and 110 executions in Iran.—Amnesty International.

There were 98 executions in the United States in 1999.
posted by reality at 2:59 PM on October 1, 2003

Oops, forgot the link.
posted by reality at 3:00 PM on October 1, 2003

Gotta love that Iranian justice. Here in Canada, we particularly appreciated Iran's recent beating-murder-by-police of a Canadian-Iranian female journalist.

Glad to see they make sure a case is rock-solid before they take it on.

AI has a pretty good record on this score. Would you rather they used hyperbolic, unequivocal language, so the right-wingers could dismiss it as another hysterical lefty boo-hoo NGO?
posted by stonerose at 3:01 PM on October 1, 2003

There were 98 executions in the United States in 1999.

The United States is a pretty big country.
posted by transona5 at 3:50 PM on October 1, 2003

Phew. Thanks Reality. I was afraid we might get through a MeFi thread about something on the other side of the world without some obligatory US bashing.

MeFi: Bashing the US for a very long time now.

This is quite bad, of course, but then, if the US does anything about the government there, aren't we just Neocon Chickenhawks? Unless we try diplomacy, which will mean that we can, ummm, apologize to her grave.

Swerdloff: pointing out your hypocrisy for a less long time now.
posted by swerdloff at 3:52 PM on October 1, 2003

This is quite bad, of course, but then, if the US does anything about the government there, aren't we just Neocon Chickenhawks? Unless we try diplomacy, which will mean that we can, ummm, apologize to her grave.

In the same sense, I hope someone invades Texas to stop those killings, because that's obviously the best way to be morally righteous.
posted by The God Complex at 4:47 PM on October 1, 2003

>recent beating-murder-by-police of a Canadian-Iranian female journalist.

The same week as Zahra Kazemi died, Keyvan Tabesh was killed by a Vancouver police officer. Some local news reports suggested the Iranian government phrased the Vancouver incident as a revenge killing. "Iranian officials call the shooting "incomprehensible" and have demanded those responsible be brought to justice."
posted by philfromhavelock at 5:16 PM on October 1, 2003

So Iraq kills hundreds of thousands of its ethnic and religious minorities, North Korea keeps almost its entire populace on the brink of starvation while spending billions to develop nuclear-tipped ICBMs and Iran finds one woman guilty of murder despite her claims of self-defense, which, after ~6 years of appeals going all the way up to the Supreme Court, might result in her execution.

Lamest. Axis of Evil. Member. Ever.
posted by boaz at 7:05 PM on October 1, 2003

philfromhavelock, would you care to elaborate? she was accused of taking photos; he was accused of threatening officers with a machete.... are you going to imply moral equivalence without providing further facts?
posted by stonerose at 8:33 PM on October 1, 2003

The Iranian outrage at the Port Moody killing is just so much posturing. Kazemi died in police custody; Tabesh was a "machete-wielding" teenager who had already endangered the lives of innocents around him. Police shot him in self-defense and, unfortunately, it proved to be fatal.

I don't know if machete-wielding is acceptable in Iran, but around here (Port Moody is down the street from me), it's considered a wee bit anti-social. Tabesh showed an error in judgement and paid the ultimate price. Kazemi was doing her job and suffered at the hands of a society that would seem to have little respect for basic human rights.
posted by sharpener at 8:42 PM on October 1, 2003


I agree with you, and I was in fact making a pre-emptive point here (irony unintended). I was fully expecting the US-bashers to counterpoint with the death penalty practices here, with their disingenous moral equivalences.
posted by reality at 9:42 PM on October 1, 2003

I wasn't equating the two situations. I had hoped the two CBC links would have shown how unequal the situations were and that Iranian government officials apparently seized the Port Moody police shooting as a public relations God-send. A CBC radio report, if I understood it correctly, said news agencies broadcasting in Iran were suggesting (or reporting as fact) that some authority figure in Canada killed an Iranian national to retaliate for Ms. Kazemi's death.

The situation struck me because of the timing and how news events can be manipulated but also because retribution killings (or at least trumped up charges) against foreign nationals may happen in other countries. (A politically-motivated kidnapping in the eighties. The government killed the kidnapper's brother and sent the kidnapper some of his brother's body parts and a few gruesome photos; the kidnapped persons were released. Not an exact parallel to this situation involving Kazemi and Tabesh, but I thought of it this summer because, in some countries, a government-sanctioned retribution killing is believable.) But mostly the Iranian authorities appeared too desperate to hide their own sins; something like methinks he doth protest too much.

And what sharpener said.
posted by philfromhavelock at 10:10 PM on October 1, 2003


Well, no kidding. Neocon chickenhawk apologists quaking in their boots about moral equivalences.

Before the're even pointed out.

As I've mentioned here on more than one occasion, some Mefites make you feel really bad for dogs who become gun shy.

So ok, I could talk about dogs for hours. But since reality and swerdloff brought it up and all and seem pretty worried about the horror of the death penalty in the United States in a thread that's supposed to just be about the horror of the death penalty in Iran:

In 2002, 81 per cent of all known executions took place in China, Iran and the USA.

The majority of countries in the world have turned away from judicial killings.

The United States is one of only six countries with documented executions of child offenders since 1990, along with Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Yemen has since outlawed this practice. Also of note, China amended its laws in 1997 to abolish capital punishment for child offenders.

Since 1990, 19 persons who committed crimes under the age of 18 have been executed worldwide. The US alone accounts for more than half of these executions (10). The execution of Sean Sellers in February 1999, for a crime committed at the age of 16, marked the 13th execution of a child offender in the US since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.

After years of outcry from the international community, in June 2002 the United States Supreme Court finally ruled that executing persons with mental retardation was unconstitutional. The ruling came too late for the 40 people with mental retardation who were executed since 1977, however, and for many more people with borderline mental retardation who were also executed during this time.

Yet as recently as January 21, 2000, Larry Keith Robison, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was executed by the state of Texas. On June 22, 2000, Thomas Provenzano, who suffered from severe delusional episodes and believed he was Jesus Christ, was executed by the state of Florida. On August 16, 2000, John Satterwhite, who suffered from both mental illness and mental retardation, was executed by the state of Texas. Others with mental illness who have been executed in the U.S. in violation of international law include: Pernell Ford (Alabama); Bert Hunter (Missouri); and Juan Soria (Texas).

In a 1990 report, the non-partisan U.S. General Accounting Office found "a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of the death penalty." The study concluded that a defendant was several times more likely to be sentenced to death if the murder victim was white. This confirms the findings of many other studies that, holding all other factors constant, the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim.

A recent study of the city of Philadelphia found that, even after making allowances for case differences, the odds of receiving a death sentence in Philadelphia are nearly four times higher if the defendant is African-American. (David Baldus, et al., Race Discrimination and the Death Penalty in the Post Furman Era. Cornell Law Review, September 1998.)

Ninety-five percent of death row inmates cannot afford their own attorney. Poor people are often subjected to convictions and death sentences that equally or more culpable, but more affluent, people do not receive.

Prosecutors seek the death penalty far more frequently when the victim of the homicide is white than when the victim is black or of another ethnic origin.

Co-defendants charged with committing the same crime often receive different punishments, where one defendant may receive a death sentence while another receives prison time.

Individual prosecutors make their own decisions about when to seek a death sentence, so that where the crime has been committed often determines the punishment.

Only a small percentage of the people convicted of crimes for which the death penalty is a possibility actually receive a death sentence. Two people who commit similar capital crimes may receive drastically different punishments.

Source: Amnesty International


(Hint: it's considered better form to startle like you did AFTER the shot.... not before.)

So....you and your chickenhawk neocons planning on doing something about the government here anytime soon, swerdloff? Or you just plannin' on apologizing to more graves? I mean, it would be kind of fucking hypocritical to get all exercised and even try to talk folks into invading these poor (but oil rich) Iranian saps, what with problems like we got right here on the grand ol' Texas Conveyor Belt o' Death, right swerdloff?

And since you've become interested in the death penalty as a convenient rationalization for preemptively invading sovereign foreign countries and all (lemmeesee now...WMDs...9/11 connection..."the Iraqi people want us to bomb them"..."stabilization of the mideast"....none of those lies worked, so is convenient and selective indignation over the death penalty the new latest lame chickenhawk excuse, swerdloff?), executions took place in 2002 in Belarus, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, North Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudia Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Were the neocon chickenhawk brigades gonna bomb the shit out of civilians in these countries this coming year too, swerdloff, or did you and they need to make sure they're all as defenseless as Afghanistan and Iraq before you make your brave attacks?

You'll probably want to remove that hypocritical log from your own eye before you start plucking at imaginary splinters in the eyes of anyone else. Right, swerdloff?

And you and reality might want to check into that gun shy dog thing. Really. It's a bit unseemly.

Ok. You can startle NOW.

posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:04 AM on October 2, 2003

I like Boaz's comment the best. Personally I would take Iran's system of justice over about 10-20 other countries. Obviously that is not to say that this or many other cases aren't outrages, or to say that Iran is a positive model of any kind,, but when slaphappy chickenhawks like Swerdloff start talking about the need to invade, or comparing Iran with Iraq, something has to be done!

Somehow along the line, there really are people who think the "axis of evil" has to do with human rights and not threat elimination, which I find obscene. These are the same people who then bash Amnesty International for being anti-semetic or some other bullshit.
posted by chaz at 1:44 AM on October 2, 2003

BTW I am re-reading my comment above, and Swerdloff while I am annoyed by your ideas, I shouldn't have singled you out and attacked you like that. Sorry for that.
posted by chaz at 3:56 AM on October 2, 2003

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