"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Kobra Najjar's Fate under Iran’s Discriminatory Laws Against Women

The discriminatory laws in Iran may yet claim another victim to be executed by stoning to death for the “crime” of adultery. There are 8 cases in Iran on the brink of death through stoning anytime soon and one such case is that of a woman named Kobra Najjar a victim of domestic violence, for 12 years was beaten repeatedly and forced into prostitution by her husband to support his heroin addiction.

Kobra Najjar found herself in prison when Habib, a “client” of Kobra seeing her sorry plight decided to murder her husband. Habib was sentenced to death by
the Tabriz High Court for the murder together with Kobra Najjar as an accomplice.

What makes this case unusual and deranged is that it shows the disparity and unequal treatment of women under a penal system favoring men over women. Serving eight years for the murder and 100 lashes for fornication Habib was released upon paying compensation to the victims’ heirs. In contrast Kobra Najjar who has also served eight years remains in prison her fate uncertain as she face the prospect of being stoned to death anytime for adultery. Now how sick is that, forced into prostitution but under Iranian’s Discriminatory laws against women she is guilty of adultery even though she was systematically subjected to violence to force her into submission for prostitution.

In Iran’s perverted justice system under Article 83 of the Iranian Penal Code, a married person is committing adultery when they have sexual intercourse with anyone other than their spouse. Adultery is the only crime where women is sentenced to stoning and all sexual intercourse outside of marriage is illegal that can result in flogging, or hanging for the forth offense. Now how perverted is that?

Kobra Najjar under constant beatings was forced into prostitution clearly did not have any choice or say on the matter was definitely a victim. She is seen under the cross eyed Iranian sadistic judge who obviously sees only the sexual intercourse but not the circumstance of one who was victimized. It does not matter whether she was forced through coercion and violence she is an adulterer therefore deserve to die the most painful savage medieval death by stoning.

In Iran a 13 year old girl is old enough to legally marry and considered as an adult at age 8 years and 9 months, old enough to be sentenced to stoning, flogging and hanging for adultery and fornication. Iranian gender biased law favors men where pedophiles are likely to prevail over the girls and women they victimized facing the risk of being convicted should they go to courts. Women and girls face insurmountable obstacle in getting a divorce, forced to stay even if she was in an abusive marriage and most likely lose custody of her children above age 7 to her husband and the children’s paternal grandfather. In contrast men can marry up to 4 girls and woman and can divorce them at will. The rules of evidence make it extremely difficult for women to prove their case in court should the wife decides to file a case of domestic violence her testimony is only worth half of a man’s testimony. Rape is even more impossible if not incredulous under Iranian rules of evidence; her testimony as if half its worth of a man is not bad enough has to be corroborated by men in order to prove her claims. Under this scenario a rape victim is at the mercy of her rapist and most likely end up getting sentenced for adultery, now that is truly disgusting.

Equality Now appeals to everyone to take the Recommended Actions below to help Kobra Najjar and other victims of gender biased laws against women:

Please write to the Iranian officials below, calling for Kobra’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Teheran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: iripr@iranjudiciary.org, irjpr@iranjudiciary.com and info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005

Note: The contact information above may encounter delivery problems so please keep trying to send your message. Thank you for taking action!

Please also contact the Iranian embassy in your country. The following link may help you find the contact information: http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/Iran/Iran.html

Bahrain: Embassy of Iran in Manama
Tel: 722400, 722660
Fax: 722101

Canada: Embassy of Iran in Ottawa http://www.salamiran.org/
Tel: 613 2354726 Ext 225
Fax: 613 2325712

Denmark: Embassy of Iran in Copenhagen http://www.iran-embassy.dk
Tel: 39160071
Fax: 39160075

Finland: Embassy of Iran in Helsinki
Tel: (9) 6869240
Fax: (9) 6869241

Germany: Embassy of Iran in Frankfurt
Tel: (0) 695600070, (0) 695600730
Fax: (0) 6956000728

India: Embassy of Iran in New Delhi
Tel: (011) 3329600, (011) 3329601, (011) 3329602, (011) 3320491
Fax: (011) 3325493

Jordan: Embassy of Iran in Amman
Tel: (6) 4641281, (6) 4641282
Fax: (6) 4641383

Kenya: Embassy of Iran in Nairobi
Tel: (2) 720343, (2) 720796
Fax: (2) 713966

Lebanon: Embassy of Iran in Beirut
Tel: (1) 821224

Malaysia: Embassy of Iran in Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (3) 4514830, (3) 4514824
Fax: (3) 4562904

Norway: Embassy of Iran in Oslo http://home.eunet.no/%7Eiranamb/
Tel: 23 27 29 60
Fax: 22 55 49 19

Russia: Embassy of Iran in Moscow
Tel: (95) 9177282, (95) 9170039, (95) 9178440
Fax: (95) 2302897

Sweden: Embassy of Iran in Stockholm
Tel: (80) 7650829, (80) 7653174
Fax: (80) 7653119

Switzerland: Embassy of Iran in Berne
Tel: (31) 3510801, (31) 3510802
Fax: (31) 3515652

United Arab Emirates: Embassy of Iran in Abu Dhabi http://www.iranembassy.org.ae
Tel: (12) 4447618
Fax: (12) 4448714

United Kingdom: Embassy of Iran in London http://www.iran-embassy.org.uk/
Tel: 02072253000
Fax: 02075894440

United States: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, D.C. http://www.daftar.org/
Tel: 202 9654990
Fax: 202 9651073

Women's Action 29.1: March 2007

Please keep Equality Now updated on your efforts and send copies of any replies you receive to:

Equality Now P.O. Box 20646, Columbus Circle Station, New York NY 10023, USA
Equality Now Africa Regional Office, P.O. Box 2018, KNH 00202, Nairobi, KENYA
Equality Now P.O. Box 48822, London WC2N 6ZW, UNITED KINGDOM
info@equalitynow.org


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