IN­TER­NA­TIONAL AC­TION

Elle (Canada) - - World -

Hu­man Rights Watch, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional and the United Na­tions, as well as many Western na­tions, con­demned Jab­bari’s ex­e­cu­tion and lob­bied hard for it to be called off.

“There were se­ri­ous pro­ce­dural is­sues re­lated to due process in the han­dling of her case, in­clud­ing Jab­bari’s ar­rest, her ac­cess and de­nial to a lawyer and be­ing un­able to see her fam­ily,” says Faraz Sanei, the Iran re­searcher for the Mid­dle East and North Africa di­vi­sion of Hu­man Rights Watch. “The pe­riod after some­one is first de­tained and in­ter­ro­gated is when they are most vul­ner­a­ble to ill-treat­ment, in­clud­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal abuse and co­erced con­fes­sions, which hap­pens a lot in Iran.”

Iran is one of a hand­ful of coun­tries that crim­i­nal­ize con­sen­sual re­la­tion­ships out­side of mar­riage. Adul­tery, for in­stance, is still pun­ish­able by ston­ing in Iran. This is also the case in Afghanistan.

In the 2012 Hu­man Rights Watch re­port I Had to Run Away, it was es­ti­mated that 400 girls and women were im­pris­oned in Afghanistan for so-called moral crimes, such as run­ning away from an un­law­ful mar­riage and zina, which is sex out­side of mar­riage (in­clud­ing be­ing raped or be­ing sold into pros­ti­tu­tion). “Th­ese sys­tems that crim­i­nal­ize moral crimes are more prob­lem­atic for women be­cause there is more stigma at­tached to them,” says Sanei. “It makes it much more dif­fi­cult for girls and women who are sex­u­ally as­saulted to de­fend them­selves and then come for­ward. There is a per­cep­tion both in the ju­di­ciary and in pub­lic opin­ion that they were do­ing some­thing wrong.”

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