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Iranian teen spared the rope

Campaign continues to secure Nazanin Fatehi's release - you can help

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There's some cheering news this cold January morning - condemned Iranian Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi has been spared the rope following an international net campaign led by former Miss Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam.

Nazanin FatehiTo recap, Nazanin Fatehi was in January 2006 "sentenced to death for murder by court in Iran after she stabbed one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj (a suburb of Tehran) in March 2005".

In June 2006, "the Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi announced a stay of execution and the call for a complete new retrial" - scheduled for 10 January.

Mercifully, the five judges who reviewed her case "determined that the act was unintentional and was indeed a case of self-defense". As a result she was "exonerated from the charge of murder".

That's the good news. The bad news is that the judges "ruled that disproportionate force was used by Nazanin while trying to defend herself and her 15-year old niece" and ordered that she pay dieh, or blood money, "to receive a pardon from the family of the deceased before she can be released from prison".

Nazanin's lawyers say they "intend to appeal the payment of blood money, but since this may take several months they also have requested bail so that Nazanin may be released from prison immediately. The court has set bail in the amount of 400,000,000 Rials (over US$40,000)".

Since the poor girl's family is a bit cash-strapped, the Help Nazanin campaign is asking for donations. All cash received "will be allocated to the requested bail and other campaign costs" and, if the appeal is successful, "any excess donation fund will be used to assist Nazanin's family as well as any other cases of minors sentenced to death in Iran".

Well, El Reg has already walked it like it talks it, and this morning dispatched some cash to the fighting fund. We're sure those of you with a few quid or dollars to spare will be happy to do the same. You can find details on how to make a donation here. ®

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