“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

"Mother they are going to execute me, please save me."

Delara Darabi knew the end was close when she made a panic-filled call to her mother from prison to say that she could see the hangman's noose from her window

Iran executes woman for alleged murder committed as a juvenile

The Iranian artist was executed on Friday for a murder allegedly committed when she was a juvenile and for which she retracted her brief confession, claiming she was covering up for her boyfriend.

The prison authorities hanged Miss Darabi, 23, even though the head of Iran's judiciary granted her a two-month stay of execution on April 19 amid international outrage over her case. They also did not give her lawyer the required 48 hours notice.

Horrific new details have emerged of her last desperate plea for help from Rasht prison as jail guards came to lead her away.
Miss Darabi made a tearful call early on Friday to her parents to say she could see the gallows and noose, according to media reports from Tehran.

"Mother they are going to execute me, please save me," she pleaded. But a prison official then grabbed the phone and told her distraught mother: "We are going to execute your daughter and there's nothing you can do about it."

The execution of a young woman whose case has become an international cause célèbre is a further damaging blow to President Barack Obama's attempts to thaw US relations with the Islamic regime. Roxana Saberi, an American-Iranian journalist, is on hunger strike in a Tehran prison after being convicted of espionage in a show trial last month.

Miss Darabi's case gained widespread attention after moving paintings and drawings that she made in her prison cell were shown around the world. She developed her talent as a painter behind bars.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are the only countries to execute people for crimes committed when they are under 18. Miss Darabi was 17 when she admitted killing her 58-year-old uncle in a burglary in 2003 but she quickly retracted the confession, saying she had taken the blame to save her boyfriend.

Amnesty International, the human rights group that campaigned vigorously to save Miss Darabi, led the condemnation.
"Amnesty International is outraged at the execution and particularly at the news that her lawyer was not informed," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy chief for the Middle East and North Africa.

"This appears to have been a cynical move on the part of the authorities to avoid domestic and international protests which might have saved Delara Darabi's life.

"This indicates that even decisions by the Head of the Judiciary carry no weight and are disregarded in the provinces."
The Iranian authorities said that Miss Darabi confessed to the murder because she believed she would be pardoned as the crime was committed when she was a minor. But her lawyer said that new forensic evidence and the explanation for her confession cleared her, but the court declined to hear the testimony.

"Amnesty International does not consider her trial to have been fair, as the courts later refused to consider new evidence which the lawyer said would have proved she could not have committed the murder," Mr Sahraoui added.

Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile criminals since 1990, including seven in 2007, according to human rights groups. Iran says it only carries out the death penalty when a prisoner reaches the age of 18.

Iran's existing penal code holds a nine-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy to be legally responsible if involved in crime.
Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, blasphemy, serious drug trafficking, repeated sodomy, adultery or prostitution, treason and espionage.

Iran stepped up its use of the death penalty last year in what it says is a bid to improve security in society.


  1. Murder's Murder; Hasta luego, baby.

  2. "Amnesty International is outraged at the execution and particularly at the news that her lawyer was not informed," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy chief for the Middle East and North Africa.

    Heh, the most important thing to Amnestry was her lawyer wasn't informed.

    Amnestry International has a big chapter in Moscow. They do some good, once in a while, no denying that.

    Who knows what happened. Mayb unca was going to hump her and the boyfriend killed him. Who knows.

  3. don't they do that in the US as well - execute minors? Well, Texas at least does...

  4. Woman's Inhumanity To WomanFemale bomber blows up other women in Baghdad, other news barely fit to print. Taught to 'cleanse' their sins by blowing themselves--this would be ok if that was it--and others sky high.

    This time took a little kid along for the ride.

  5. Didn't the US Supreme Court rule on that sometime ago?

    May depend on what the definition of a minor is, 16, 18?

  6. "Since 1990, juvenile offenders are known to have been executed in only seven countries: China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United States."

    uggg, bad company! But this will make Bobal feel better:

    "The death penalty is forbidden in all states for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crime following the Supreme Court's ruling in Roper v. Simmons (2005)"

  7. ...or will he whine about legislating from the bench?

  8. 18 sounds reasonable to me. On the other hand, sometimes really bad asses have young folk do the dirty work.

    There is a question about legislating from the bench, Ash, on the other hand see the first sentence above.

    Proper punishment can get very complex. Are Gacy, etal in the same category as the high society doctor's wife who went off the handle once in her life, and killed the lover?

    The older way was to have the judge decide, problems with that too.

    Only divine justice gets it right every time.

  9. I've always been amazed at how the 'pro-lifers' are keen on executing folk.

  10. You would be, unable to discern the difference between a killer, and the innocent, as you are.

    I've always been amazed at how you can contemplate vacuuming kids, without even a shrug of your shoulders.

    Euthanasia will come easily to you.

  11. Some of the cops are still angry at Bill "What a Country,Guilty as Hell, Free as a Bird" Ayers, and his wife Dorn. Still trying to get an angle to get them, after all these years, still working the case.

  12. Michael Vick has seen the light--and the possibility of another football contract. He's going to be working for PETA ad campaigns.

    Actually, he should make a heck of a goodspokesman. He can get a message across where others wouldn't be able to do so.


  13. Iran's existing penal code holds a nine-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy to be legally responsible if involved in crime.heh, and here I thought the idea in islam was the women weren't as responsible as their betters, the men. By that logic, it should be the other way around, shouldn't it?