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Iran’s Kobra Najjar, Stoning Sentenced Commuted!

A welcome development but since she has suffered enough languishing in harsh Iranian jail for 8 long years as an “accomplish” for the death of her abusive husband who acted as her pimp and sustaining her drug habit to perpetuate her prostitution, the Iranian court has converted the sentence to inhumane canning of 100 lashes. A punishment she may not survive as she has recently suffered a stroke.

Below is an email from Equality Now:
Equality Now welcomes news of the commutation of Kobra Najjar’s stoning but condemns the sentence of 100 lashings to take its place

The Iranian government has commuted the execution of Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery - a judgment based on the prostitution her abusive husband forced upon her in order to sustain his heroin addiction. Kobra requested clemency from the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, after her appeal for amnesty was rejected three times by the Iranian Commission of Amnesty. Ayatollah Shahroudi has recently ruled for the stoning sentence to be converted into 100 lashes.

Kobra has already served eight years in prison as an accomplice to the murder of her husband who was killed by a sympathetic client, plus a further three years awaiting execution. Kobra has recently suffered from a stroke whilst in prison and has been spending her days under very difficult conditions. Subjecting her to lashes not only violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a party, as it clearly prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, but could cause serious harm and potentially be life-threatening.

News reports in Iran have also indicated that two sisters, Zohreh and Azar Kabiri, who had previously been lashed as punishment for adultery and subsequently recharged and sentenced to stoning, have had their sentences for stoning overturned due to insufficient evidence and will shortly be released. Please click here for Equality Now’s Action calling for the release of Zohreh and Azar.

Please immediately contact Iran’s Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi* welcoming news of Zohreh and Azr Kabiri’s pending release and urging him to commute Kobra’s sentence for lashing and call for her immediate and unconditional release from prison. Call on him to do all that he can to end the cruel punishment of stoning once and for all.

*The contact information below functioned when previously tested, but you may encounter delivery problems so please keep trying to send your message. Thank you for taking action!

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

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

In the United States please contact:

Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Housed in the Embassy of Pakistan) 2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20007 Phone: (202) 965-4990, (202) 965-4992, (202) 965-4993, (202) 965-4994, (202) 965-4999 Fax: (202) 965-1073 Email: requests@daftar.org

In the United Kingdom please contact: Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran 16 Prince's Gate London SW7 1PT Phone: 0207 225 3000 Fax: 0207 589 4440 Email: info@iran-embassy.org.uk

Sample letter

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi Head of the Judiciary c/o Ministry of Justice Park-e Shahr Teheran Islamic Republic of Iran


Your Excellency,

I am writing to you in regard to the case of Kobra Najjar, a woman abused and forced into prostitution by her drug addicted husband and subsequently sentenced to stoning for adultery.

While I welcome the recent news that you have commuted Kobra’s sentence so that she will no longer be stoned, I remain deeply concerned that she will now be subjected to 100 lashes. Kobra has already suffered enough. She has served an eight years prison sentence for her conviction as an accomplice in her husband’s murder and a further three years awaiting execution. I ask you also to consider the purpose of punishing further a victim of abuse. In addition, Kobra has recently had a stroke and if the lashing sentence were carried out this could have potentially fatal consequences. Such a sentence is also in breach of Iran’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights not to use cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. I would urge you to extend your clemency further by commuting Kobra’s sentence of lashing and release her immediately and unconditionally.

Finally, I welcome the recent news that you have overturned the decision to stone to death two sisters, Zohreh and Azar Kabiri. I acknowledge with appreciation your moratorium on stoning and would respectfully request that you do all that you can to abolish this cruel punishment once and for all.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours faithfully
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