PARIS, 16 Oct. (IPS) Almost two months after having hanged a 16 year old girl, the ruling Iranian ayatollahs are to commit another human crime by condemning another young girl to stoning.
According to Iranian and foreign press, Zhila Izadi, a 13 year old girl from the north-western city of Marivan had been condemned to death by stoning after being found that she had been pregnant from her 15 years-old brother.
The independent Iranian online newspaper “Peyke Iran” (www.peykeiran.com) that had first revealed the news last week reported on Saturday 16 October 2004 that the girl has given birth two weeks ago in prison.
While Zhila as been sentenced to stoning, her brother, jailed in Tehran, is to receive only 150 lashes, in accordance with Islamic laws.
Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian outspoken lawyer and human rights activists who became the first Iranian and Muslim female to win the prestigious Nobel Peace Award for 2003 disclosed the news about the case of Zhila Izadi during her recent tour of Scandinavian countries.
The circumstances under which Zhila became pregnant from her brother is still not known, but independent Iranian sources outside the country said it was the father, a devout Muslim, who informed the authorities about the “disgrace” the young girl had caused the family.
Human rights activists in Denmark said though Zhila’s sentence had not been confirmed yet, but the fear is that, with the family’s approval, she faces the same faith as that of Ms. Ateqeh Rajabi, the 16 years-old girl hanged in public by the judge, a cleric, who condemned her on charges of prostitution.
“A court in Marivan has condemned Zhila to death by stoning and the family, which is very fundamental, has agreed”, confirmed Ms. Nahid Riazi of a Copenhagen-based human rights group that fights to the rights of women, adding that the young girl had been separated from her new born baby after the birth.
Zhila Izadi, a 13 years old girl from the north-western city of Marivan had been condemned to death by stoning after being found that she had been pregnant from her 15 years-old brother
Ms. Rajabi was publicly hanged on a street in the city centre of Neka in the northern province of Mazandaran, on 15 August, for "acts incompatible with chastity".
Faced with domestic and international outcry of dismay, the authorities said the young girl was “mentally incompetent”.
However, informed sources revealed that Ms. Ateqeh was sentenced to death after, during the "trial", she expressed outrage at the misogyny and injustice in the Islamic Republic and its Islam-based judicial system.
“The lower court judge was so incensed by her protestations that he personally put the noose around her neck after his decision had been upheld by the Supreme Court”, the sources reported.
The execution of Ateqeh Rajabi was the tenth execution of a child offender in Islamic Republic recorded by Amnesty International since 1990.
Ms. Ateqeh Rajabi was publicly hanged on a street in the city centre of Neka on 15 August, for "acts incompatible with chastity"
Amnesty International is alarmed that this execution was carried out despite reports that Ateqeh Rajabi was not believed to be mentally competent, and that she reportedly did not have access to a lawyer at any stage.
As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran is bound not to execute child offenders. Both treaties provide that capital punishment shall not be imposed for offences committed by persons under 18 year of age at the time of committing the offence.
Though it is possible that the Iranian authorities reject the stoning sentence, but it remains that the accused could very probably be condemned to death, human rights sources said, calling on the international community to put pressure on Iranian authorities to save Zhila from death.
The news of Zhila's possible stoning come at a time that the ruling conservatives have increased dramatically crackdown on the very limited social liberties, including more drastic measures on women accused of not respecting islamic codes of dressing and arresting more journalists and intellectuals. ENDS IZADI 161004