Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Imminent Execution of Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh

Amnesty International: Urgent Action
The stay of execution granted to Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh on 12 October 2004 has been rescinded by the Supreme Court. Her execution is reportedly scheduled to take place on or before 1 April 2006.

Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh was sentenced to death for the murder of her husband. She alleged that her husband was a drug addict who had tried to rape her daughter from a previous marriage, who was 15 years old at the time. Apparently he had previously told her that he had lost the girl in a gambling match. Amnesty International does not know when she was arrested, but she may have been tried in 2002. READ MORE

The Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, had stayed Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh's execution after reading a letter written to him by her daughter, entitled "Don’t render my hopes hopeless", in which she appealed for clemency for her mother. Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh was then held in Evin prison in the capital, Tehran, whilst her case was sent to the second Division of the Supreme Court for review. According to a report in the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri on 15 March 2006, the Court has confirmed the death sentence against Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh and has reportedly approved the execution. Her lawyer was reported to be intending to ask the Head of the Judiciary to use his powers to issue another stay of execution.


Amnesty International opposes the death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party. Article 6 of the ICCPR states: In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes.

In 2005, Amnesty International recorded at least 94 executions in Iran, although the true figure may be considerably higher.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, French or your own language:

- stating that Amnesty International recognizes the rights and responsibilities of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but strongly opposes the death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life;

- expressing concern that the stay of execution granted to Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh has been rescinded after almost 18 months;

- urging that the death sentence imposed on Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh be commuted immediately;

- urging the authorities to ensure that the victim’s family is made aware of its right, under Islamic law, to pardon the condemned;

- reminding the Iranian authorities of their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 251 7 774 2228 (mark "FAO the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei") (please keep trying)
Email: info@leader.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: irjpr@iranjudiciary.org (mark "Please forward to His Excellency Ayatollah Shahroudi") This email address can be unreliable. If it does not work, please send your appeal via the judiciary website: www.iranjudiciary.org/feedback_en.html
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 6 649 5880
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
(Or via website) http://www.president.ir/email

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 1 April 2006.

We reported this last week. The earlier report claimed the marriage was a "temporary" marriage.