Thursday, 6 August 2009

Examiner: Iranian Woman Forced into Prostitution to Support Husband's Heroine Addiction to be Stoned to Death

International human rights organizations have recently expressed concerned about Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Iranian women’s rights activists working on her case fear that Kobra now faces imminent execution because she has reportedly exhausted all domestic legal remedies, and her case files were recently returned back to the Tabriz court from the capitol. Kobra is detained in Tabriz prison in northwestern Iran.

Kobra Najjar is a 45-year-old Iranian woman who was forced into prostitution by her abusive husband in order to support his heroine addiction. He was murdered by one of Kobra’s “clients” who sympathized with her plight. Kobra has already served 8 years in prison as an accessory to her husband’s murder. The man who murdered her husband also served 8 years in prison and is now free after paying blood money and undergoing 100 lashes, while Kobra faces imminent stoning to death for adultery - the prostitution her husband forced upon her.

Equality Now is also concerned about seven other women and one man, all sentenced to death by stoning, whose executions are also reported to be possible at any time. In Iran, adultery is the only crime punishable by stoning.

The head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, passed a moratorium on stoning in 2002. In March 2008, a woman named Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, whose partner Jaffar Kiani had been stoned to death in 2007, was released from prison and her stoning sentence was reversed by Iranian authorities. Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director of Equality Now says, “Mokarrameh’s release from prison must not be an isolated case. The example has already been set. We urge Ayatollah Shahroudi to extend the progress made through Mokarrameh’s case by irrevocably reversing all current sentences of death by stoning for so-called “immoral acts.” What is immoral is the act of stoning, and all other forms of violent and inhumane punishment.”

No comments: