Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi is an Iranian teenager who was sentenced to be hanged for murder by an Iranian court. I had been unaware of her case until I read about it in the Power Line Forum last night. According to her account, Nazanin was with her sixteen-yeare-old niece and their two boyfriends when they were approached by three men who tried to rape them. The boyfriends fled, and Nazanin defended herself with a knife she carried in her purse. She stabbed one of the men, who later died. So far, at least, I haven’t seen any version of the facts that differs materially from Nazanin’s account.
Nazanin was prosecuted for murder and sentenced to hang. The verdict was apparently set aside by an ayatollah, and she is due to be retried tomorrow, January 10.
Wikipedia has the story here. A Canadian singer (and former Miss World runner-up) named Nazanin Afshin-Jam has taken up Nazanin Fatehi’s case and has set up a web site called Help Nazanin. So far, over 250,000 signatures have been collected on an internet petition. Check out the Forum post linked to above for more links.
One intriguing aspect of this controversy is that some have called on prominent American Muslims to try to intercede on Nazanin’s behalf. Dymphna of Gates of Vienna has written an open letter to Congressman Keith Ellison. It says, in part:
You have been elected to serve the Fifth District of Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives. This is a crucially important opportunity, not only for all of your district