TAKING A STAND: Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Former Miss World Canada 2003, Struggles To Save Iranian Compatriot From Execution
never easy to be a teenager anywhere in the world but it is certainly
more difficult in Iran where an entire nation is subject to
particularly harsh not to say absurd so-called Islamic laws meant to
regulate all aspects of human life including the most intimate ones
since the advent of Islamic Republic more than 27 years ago. It is not
exaggerated to say that Iranian Women have since been subject to a form
of sexual apartheid. For instance the price of the blood of a Woman, is
worth half the price of that of a Man. A woman cannot become a Judge
because they consider that she cannot be objective enough. Similarly
the testimony of two Women is worth that of a single Man. Paradoxically
however it is precisely Iranian women who are at the forefront of the
struggle for social and judiciary justice in today’s Iran. The year
2003 seemed to smile to Iranian Women and raise hopes on a solution to
their unfair predicament. The Nobel Peace Prize
Laureate was indeed attributed to a former Iranian Judge ( before the
Revolution of 1979 ), now only lawyer ,Shirine Ebadi for her focus on
human rights, especially on the struggle for the rights of women and
children. Ms. Ebadi won from a record field of 165 candidates,
including Pope John Paul and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
Interestingly the same year Iranian born Nazanin Afshin-Jam was elected
Miss World Canada 2003 and Miss World first runner-up. As if
symbolically two generations of Iranian Women separated by the turmoils
of revolution and exile were thus honored in the West, setting in their
own respective ways an example for Iranian Women worldwide to look up
to and particularly in their native country. Alas nearly three years
after the situation of Iranian women has not considerably changed for
the better. The radical laws continue to be prejudicial to Women and
the presidential election of an Iranian radical fanatic Mahmoud
Ahmaninejad (who seems to have single handedly invented in the Iranian
community anti-Semitic militancy that was virtually inexistent in
Persian society) has only encouraged his hard-line supporters to
intensify their firm grip on the country’s judiciary. At the face of
such rising intolerance in her native country Nazanin Afshin-Jam has
chosen to take a stand for the predicament of an Iranian 18 year old
namesake who is threatened by an imminent execution. Her crime? Having
fatally stabbed to death in March 2005 one of three men who attempted
to rape her as well as her 16 year old niece in a Park in Southern
Tehran. During her trial Nazanin said
wanted to defend myself and my niece. I did not want to kill that boy.
At the heat of the moment I did not know what to do because no one came
to our help”. She was nevertheless sentenced to the maximum punishment possible under the current law, death by hanging …
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She has since been set free according to the signature comments on the petition, but it wouldn't hurt to sign it just the same to possibly help others and let them Know we care. The petition.
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