Untold, however, are the stories of the formidable success of the Women's Rights movement in Iran, in stopping such executions. Untold, also is the fundamental contribution of this particular brand of activism to the improvement of the human rights in Iran.
Shadi Sadr the Iranian lawyer who has successfully rescued some of the women on death row (and the recipient of the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism raises an interesting issue:
In all those years that the women movement activists were worried for the fate of Afsaneh Noroozi, Kobra Rahmanpoor, Leyla Mafi, Shahla Jahed, Nazanin Fathi, Fatemeh Pejooh, ashraf kalhori and etc*; and restlessly collected petitions, wrote articles and demonstrated to save their lives, many a man walked blindfolded up to gallows and were hanged, without a short report in any paper, without a voice of protest.**...
Why is it that the stoning and the execution of women has turned into a social discourse, but the civil society is silent about the execution of men?
Sadr draws attention to the image of women in Persian culture, typifying kindness, love and nurturing, which can hardly be juxtaposed with the images of a death deserving criminal. But she also focuses on the fact that the Iranian Women Movement is the best organized and the most effective form of activism in Iran. Sadr projects that The Women's Movement will inevitably be gaining enough momentum to push forward the humanrights's agenda, genderless.
* Of the 14 women sentenced to capital punishment, 6 have escaped the sentence; and 8 are having their cases reviewed or referred to the supreme court. It appears to me that although the sentence is given according to the law, the judges and the head of the judiciary system do exercise their authority to prevent the sentence from being carried on. To change the law, however, is what the feminist lawyers are most striving for.
** Quotations are translated from her Persian article in the Zanan Magazine, 15:136, August 2006, page 18-22
This post was inspired by and thus dedicated to A Friend to Humanity