1860: John Moyse, the Private of the Buffs 1878: Max Hödel

2004: Atefah Rajabi Shalaaleh, schoolgirl

August 15th, 2010 Meaghan

(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.)

On this day in 2004, a sixteen-year-old Iranian schoolgirl, Atefah Salaaleh, was publicly hanged from a truck-mounted crane for adultery and “crimes against chastity.”

In a classic example of a miscarriage of justice, the same person, Haji Rezai, served as prosecutor, witness, judge and hangman against this young girl. In violation of Iranian law, Atefah did not have legal representation at her trial.

Iran, when it signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, had promised not to execute minors, but according to Amnesty International, Atefah has been at least the tenth person under 18 to be executed in Iran since 1990. Her family says they gave her 1988 birth certificate to the court, but Judge Rezai just looked at her and decided she was at least 22. Because it’s so easy to determine a person’s exact age just based on their appearance.

Atefah appears to be a good example of a problem child: her mother was killed in a car accident when she was very young and her father was a drug addict, so she was given to the inadequate care of her elderly grandparents. Although she was described as “lively and intelligent,” she often roamed the streets and became a delinquent.

In the years prior to the arrest that lead to Atefah’s death, she had already been arrested multiple times by Iran’s Morals Police for crimes including being in a car alone with a boy (her cousin) and having sex with unmarried men. According to friends quoted in Iran Focus, she may have been sexually abused by a close relative, and she also alleged abuse by the Morals Police.

For the arrest that lead to her death, Atefah was not charged with committing any specific offenses; rather, she was arrested after an unsigned petition named her as a “bad influence” on the community and a “source of immorality.”

Under torture she admitted she had had sex with a 51-year-old married taxi driver, whom she claimed had repeatedly raped her. In court, she defiantly removed her hijab, threw her shoes at judge Rezai, and said the taxi driver should be punished rather than herself. (Reportedly, he was given about 100 lashes and then released.) Atefah’s death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court of Iran and she was hung three months after her trial.

Atefah’s life and death have been the subject of a BBC documentary which you can see in six parts on YouTube. Keep a hanky handy.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Children,Death Penalty,Execution,Guest Writers,Hanged,History,Iran,Other Voices,Public Executions,Ripped from the Headlines,Sex,Women,Wrongful Executions

Tags: , , , ,

6 thoughts on “2004: Atefah Rajabi Shalaaleh, schoolgirl”

  1. nozferatu says:

    Muslims are sick bastards, Mind you, what do you expect when their prophet was a pedophile.

  2. Fiz says:

    KYGB, I cannot say what I really feel and think, or I suspect I would be locked up by the “racial sensitivity” police!

  3. KYGB says:

    Yeah Fiz. This one is similar to the hanging of Delara Darabi’ last year in Iran. She won a two month stay of execution, but she was hung TWO WEEKS later, in violation of the stay. They called her mother and told her “We are going to execute your daughter and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

    Then they did it.

    Classy country, eh?

  4. Fiz says:

    What a barbarous thing to do do! They live in the Dark Ages!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Calendar

Archives

Categories

Execution Playing Cards

Exclusively available on this site: our one-of-a-kind custom playing card deck.

Every card features a historical execution from England, France, Germany, or Russia!


Recently Commented