Emotions ran high at the entrance gate of Evin prison, where 19-year-old Nazanin Fatehi was greeted by supporters and reunited with her family. Nazanin had a very emotional reunion with her family members. She could not believe that this day had arrived. She cried in her mother's arms and embraced her siblings and father.
After she finished greeting her family, Nazanin's
lawyer, Mr. Mostafaei, said that she told him that she now wants to go to school
and study hard to get her life back. Soon after, Mr. Mostafaei got a phone call
from some of the inmates who Nazanin met and they told him they missed her
already. Her freedom was granted a few days after the required 400 million rials
(approximately $43,000 USD) bail money was handed over to the court.
Most of the bail payment was raised by HelpNazanin.com, a web site created by pop singer and human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam. Some donations were collected in Iran, as well as a generous donation from Canadian Member of Parliament Belinda Stronach.
Fatehi was initially sentenced to death for murder by a court in Iran after she stabbed, in self-defense, one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 15-year-old niece in a park in Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, in March 2005. She was 17 at the time.
On June 1, 2006, following extensive international pressure and media coverage, Iranian Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi announced a stay of execution and a new trial. During the new trial on January 10, 2007, the five judges presiding over the case found inconsistencies with the testimonies of the male witnesses and unanimously overturned the charge of premeditated murder.
Although the court recognized that Fatehi acted in self defense, it ruled that excessive force was used. Therefore, the court asked Fatehi to pay "diyeh" (blood money) to compensate the family of the deceased -- a judgment that her lawyers, Shadi Sadr and Mr. Mostafaei, vehemently oppose and will appeal.
Bodog Music recording artist Nazanin Afshin-Jam's relentless year-long campaign to save the life of her namesake included a petition signed by 345,000 people, numerous speeches and rallies worldwide and months on the media circuit. With the help of Mina Ahadi, head of the International Committee Against Execution, Afshin-Jam engaged and received support from Amnesty International, Canadian Members of Parliament, the European Union and the United Nations. Afshin-Jam also hosted "The Tale of Two Nazanins," a documentary funded and produced by the Calvin Ayre Foundation.
"I spoke with Nazanin Fatehi this morning. She's in good spirits and wanted me to pass on the message of how thankful she is for everyone's support," Nazanin Afshin-Jam said. "We're thrilled that she is free and reunited with her family. We must not forget the 23 other juveniles currently on death row in Iran. Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also the Charter of the Rights of the Child, which forbid the execution of persons under the age of 18, although Iran continues to do so. We must get to the root of the problem and put pressure on the Iranian officials to change the laws once and for all."
To find out more about the case of Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, see www.helpnazanin.com.
For an interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam about the case, please call media relations at 1-866-591-0217 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bodog Music
BodogMusic.com is a division of the international digital entertainment giant Bodog.com. With six offices worldwide, the label features a diverse and growing roster of talented musicians. Bodog Music is searching for the top unsigned band in America with "Bodog Battle of the Bands," which is taking place in 17 major markets and features more than 300 live shows. Bodog Music Founder Calvin Ayre, who is recognized as a world authority on branding in the digital entertainment industry, was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine's best-selling "Billionaires" issue in March 2006. Bodog.com Entertainment also includes a television production unit, an online magazine, Bodog Nation, and further properties coming soon. For more information, contact email@example.com. BODOG is a registered trademark of Bodog.com Entertainment Group.
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