Nazanin (Mahabad) Fatehi (Persian: نازنین فاتحی) (born 1987) is an Iranian woman who was sentenced to death for stabbing a man who allegedly tried to rape her and her 15 year old niece, Somayeh. After more than two years in jail Nazanin was eventually released on bail on January 31, 2007.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appeal to the Iranian Supreme Court, United Nations and Canadian parliament
- 3 First Interview with Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi
- 4 Commutation of Fatehi's death sentence
- 5 Re-trial court ended - No verdicts yet
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
On January 3, 2006, Nazanin was sentenced to death for murder by a criminal court of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to Nazanin, as reported in the Iranian daily Etemaad  then 17-year-old Nazanin and her 15-year-old niece Sumayeh were in a park in Karaj, west of Tehran when three men started harassing them. The men pushed Nazanin and her niece down on the ground and tried to rape them, and to protect herself, she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.
According to Nazanin, the girls tried to escape, but the men overtook them, and at this point Nazanin stabbed one of the other men in the chest, which eventually killed him. According to the accounting of the court in the Etemaad newspaper, when the judge asked her why her father had not attended the hearing, she sobbed uncontrollably and yelled at the judge: "I did not want to kill him! I am not at all a bad-doer. Mr. Judge, what do you want to do with me? I am a girl child! How many times do I have to say that I did this to defend myself and my niece?" The final court verdict was death sentence by hanging.
Based on the original Etemaad story, one of the boyfriends recall the story as : "In an instant, three young men approached us in a threatening manner and said some horrible things to us. Then, Mohammad, one of those men, attacked us with a rock. Samieh got off of my motorcycle and approached the men to fight them. Roozbeh and I were both scared, so we got on our motorcycles to flee, and just as we got on our bikes, I saw one of the men on the ground bleeding." No source has reported what independent witnesses said about the encounter. The Etemaad story also reports that at the time of the attack, Nazanin was a runaway who was disowned by her family. However in a phone interview Nazanin's mother showed much concern about her daughter's fate and clearly pleaded for her daughter's life while crying. In the same interview, Nazanin's mother confirmed that she asked the victim's mother for pardon, but the alleged rapist's mother refused.
As Nazanin has claimed that she only acted in self-defense, critics have pointed out that in another country she might be acquitted or receive only a short prison sentence. Iran also has a young age of eligibility for the death penalty - 15 years for males, and 9 for females.
Amnesty International also lobbied for Nazanin. "I think cases like this are illustrative of the fact there is a serious human rights crisis in Iran; the death penalty, discrimination against women and a whole host of other concerns. It really is time for the international community to put those issues right at the top of the agenda", said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. In another public statement, On May 19, 2006 Amnesty International again addressed its concern about Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi case.
Former Iranian Miss World Canada 2003, and musician Nazanin Afshin-Jam, trying to save her namesake's life initiated the "Save Nazanin Campaign" and started a petition which has attracted more than 330,000 signatures worldwide as of January 2007.
Negar Azmudeh, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer, also helped the "Save Nazanin Campaign" alleging that this case demonstrates the unjust treatment of women in Iran. Azmudeh told CTV (Canadian Television) that had Nazanin been killed by a man, he would likely not have received a death sentence: "Because the value of his life would be twice as much as Nazanin's."
Appeal to the Iranian Supreme Court, United Nations and Canadian parliament
Nazanin's case was scheduled to be reviewed by the Iranian Supreme Court the next week. The cover letter to the petition was directed at Mr. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations. Following a meeting with United Nations by Nazanin Afshin-Jam, UN high commissioner Louise Arbour contacted Iranian government regarding Nazanin Fatehi's case. Miss Afshin-Jam also addressed the Canadian parliament members regarding the matter on June 5, 2006 and MP Belinda Stronach rose in the Canadian House of Commons during Question Period to ask the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay to confirm that he had received assurances from the Iranian embassy that a new trial was ordered for Nazanin Fatehi.
First Interview with Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi
In her first public interview in May 2006, Nazanin Fatehi replied to a questionnaire that was sent to her by Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Commutation of Fatehi's death sentence
According to the Iranian Newspaper Hamshahri and by order of the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran the death sentence of Nazanin was overturned subject to payment of dieh (blood money) to the family of the alleged rapist killed. However she was placed in solitary confinement for nearly a month. Her re-trial was set for the end of August 2006.
Re-trial court ended - No verdicts yet
August 30, 2006 was Nazanin Fatehi's retrial; however no verdict was announced. The trial was supposed to start at 10:30 AM but there was a half hour delay. The trial lasted until 12:30 PM with a short break in between. The alleged rapist's family were not present. Nazanin was present with her family and three lawyers.
Nazanin Fatehi told the Judge that she has been honest from the very beginning. She extended her arm out to the Judge and said that it was she herself that came forward and gave the knife to the police at the scene of the offence and told them that she stabbed the man in self-defence to protect her honour. She directly asked the Judge what he would have done faced with three attackers. He did not have an answer.
Nazanin's mother Maryam spoke during the trial and showed her discontent with how the officials had made Nazanin sign her own death sentence a few months back. She told them that Nazanin has no education and that she could not read or understand the papers they made her sign. She was asked to leave the court, as she was crying a lot during and after Nazanin's trial. Nazanin's father stood up and told the court that he had something to say. He said that it had been announced in many newspapers that Nazanin was a run-away and that he had told the Judges to go ahead with the execution. He told the Judge that he had never made such claims and that it was important for this information to be cleared for the sake of his family. The Judge said that these claims were written in their reports. Nazanin's father requested the Judge look in the files and see who made such allegations. When they verified their file they agreed that he was right and that no such claims were made.
No judgement was made and they announced that another court date would be set. According to Etemaad newspaper's report of the re-trial, Samieh Nazanin's niece also testified in her favor. Nazanin's re-trial was scheduled for January 10, 2007. Nazanin Afshin-Jam made a video appeal to Iranian Officials only 5 days to the re-trial. She also released a documentary titled "The Tale of Two Nazanins". It featured Nazanin's family in Iran and an emotional phone conversation with Nazanin Fatehi from her prison.
Nazanin's continuation re-trial on January 10 resulted in unanimous decision by the five judges that the murder was not intentional. The final result was to be announced in a few days. The session started with 2 hours delay. There were many observers in this court. Nazanin's two defense attorneys proceeded with their defense. After much discussions, the judges unanimously determined that the lower court decision in January 2006 was wrong and the murder was not intentional.
Final verdict and Nazanin's release
The incident, which took place in March 2005, was recognized as an act of self-defense by the judges, however the court also ruled that disproportionate force was used by Nazanin while trying to defend herself and her 15-year old niece. Accordingly, they asked Nazanin to pay “dieh” retribution (blood money) in order to receive a pardon from the family of the deceased.
Shadi Sadr and Mr. Mostafaei, Nazanin Fatehi's lawyers, are appealing the blood money. In the meantime arrangements were made to have Nazanin released from prison on bail. The amount of bail was set at 400,000,000 Rials (apx. US$43,000). The amount of blood money retribution was $45,000. A trust fund was established by Nazanin Afshin-Jam to collect the necessary funds to post bail in order to free Nazanin Fatehi.
On January 31, 2007, Mahabad Fatehi also known as Nazanin was released on bail. In April 2007, Nazanin's attorney files objection to the part of the verdict that required Nazanin Fatehi to pay retribution.
- Jailed Iranian teen freed
- [dead link]
- Etemaad article.  via save.nazanin.googlepages.com
- Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists (January 7, 2006).  via iranfocus.com
- Iranian woman to hang (January 7, 2006).  via news24.com
- Iran to hang woman who killed in 'self-defense' (January 8, 2006).  via metimes.com
- [dead link]
- TAKING A STAND: Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Former Miss World Canada 2003, Struggles To Save Iranian Compatriot From Execution (April 27, 2006).  via payvand.com
- Iran: Amnesty International calls for end to death penalty for child offenders. (January 16, 2006)  via amnestyusa.org
- "Iran: Last executor of child offenders: Amnesty International condemns the first reported execution of a child offender in 2006". Amnestyusa.org. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Beautiful, Brainy and Passionate about Iran. (April 10, 2006)  via azarmehr.blogspot.com
- CNN 4/13/2006 REPORT on NAZANIN
- Former Miss Cda defends Iranian on death row. (April 10, 2006)  via CTV
- Bodog Music Recording Artist Nazanin Afshin-Jam Pleas to World Media, Kofi Annan and the UN to Save the Life of Another Nazanin in Iran. (May 17, 2006) 
- "Broadcast Yourself". YouTube. 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- [dead link]
- "Blog.com - What's your story?". Scenews.blog.com. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- HelpNazanin.com website dedicated to Nazanin with Updates
- Stop Child Executions campaign
- The tales of two Nazanins, a documentary including her phone call to her mother
- CNN report
- Amnesty international: Iran: Amnesty International calls for end to death penalty for child offenders
- Original Etemaad article in persian - go to 1/4/2006 archive- click on HAVADES
- Islamic Republic of Iran codes of laws with espect to women
- ICAE: International Committee Against Executions
- Phone interview in persian with Maryam Fatehi mother of Nazanin
- Website of Shadi Sadr the new attorney for Nazanin
- Etemaad newspaper report of second trial - in persian - Go to 8/31/06 Archive - click on HAVADES
- A song by Iranian band: Persian Princes about Nazanin
- Voice of America Television, Persian language program interviewing Nazanin Afshin-Jam
- Report of January 10, 2007 trial in persian
- Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi est sauvée Fr.
- Video collage about minors on death row in Iran with reference to Nazanin Fatehi