Let us not allow this young woman to be executed.
Shahla Jaahed has been imprisoned in Evin prison in a special women’s unit where she’s been living with nightmares for eight years. In the past few days her execution order was confirmed by Laarijaani, the head of Islamic Judiciary, and the order has now been sent to the Criminal Court, which means Shahla could be executed any day!
Shahla was to be executed by hanging several times before this date, but the widespread protests inside and outside of Iran had stopped the government. Now that the Islamic government of Iran feels restrained and pressured not to kill Sakineh, it seems like that they want to prove their power by executing a woman! By killing Shahla they want to say “We have not bowed to international pressure”. We ask all kind and concerned people around the world to stand up and help prevent Shahla from being executed.
Shahla was a nurse. She fell in love with a famous Iranian footballer, Naser Mohammad-Khani. The two of them started living together and began their hidden life together in Tehran. Naser however was married to another woman, Laleh Saharkhizan, at the same time. Laleh was murdered in Tehran on Autumn 1981, and while Naser was away in Germany, Shahla was arrested and convicted of the killing.
Even before any appropriate investigation took place, the Islamic Republic media announced her guilt and named her as the murderer. The interrogation, along with torture soon commenced. A few years ago during a phone conversation, Shahla told me: “the interrogation lasted for weeks. They did all they could to me, they tortured until I wished I was dead, and on occasions, and until they forced me to confess and sign what they dictated. They even threatened to bring in a little girl from my family, who is like a daughter to me, and hurt her if I did not comply. I did all they asked and confessed. After the torture, in the courts, I protested and retracted my confession; I told them I am not the murderer, but no one would listen to me.”
Shala’s lawyer, Abdulsamad Khoramshahi, has always emphasised that the case has ten legal errors: the half smoked cigarette found in the scene was given as evidence, while Shahla does not smoke; the stabbings were done by a left handed person, while Shahla is right handed; the body was washed and dressed in clean clothes after the killing, something Shahla would be unable to do. The whole investigation was not clear and transparent, the search for evidence was not done with formality***, many leads were left unattended, many witnesses and those with information did not show up in court and nothing was done scientifically! However, they were quick to come to the conclusion! Later the result from forensic examination showed Laleh was raped before she was murdered.
The government judiciary system had made their decision before the interrogation and before any evidence was shown. The government had intended to announce Shahla as the murderer and used her ‘confession’ and thus sentenced her to death.
Shahla’s criminal court case*** and everybody had heard from Shahla that she had been tortured and threatened in order to force her confession. Shahla critisised the barbaric treatment she received in prison and the court’s unjustness towards her, and stated that they wanted to victimise her to prevent the investigation of the original case.
Shahla is a smart young woman who loves poetry and arts. She continues writing poems in prison and is well loved and respected by other inmates due to her abilities and characteristics. During the previous years, there has been widespread activity to stop her execution, within Iran and internationally. Among these activities was the making of the movie “The Red Card”, which has been screened in international media and in some festivals, including the Holland film festival. Shahla is one of many victims of a misogynist and tyrannical regime. We have not let them execute her, and now that the government has been paralyzed from executing Sakineh, we will not let them victimise Shahla instead.
With the same strength of power and widespread activities we had for Sakineh’s case, we must commence in pushing back the government in this case as well.
Spokesperson for the International Committees Against Execution
November 8, 2010
International Committee Against
Spokesperson: Mina Ahadi firstname.lastname@example.org
0049-177-569-2413 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0049-177-569-2413
Web Resource: The International Committee Against Execution