Iranian teenager hanged for ‘adultery’

// 28 July 2006

A teenage girl of 16 has been executed for supposed ‘adultery’ in Iran, after telling a court she was raped.

A documentary, will tell how Atefah Sahaaleh was hanged in a public square in the city of Neka, after a state-run newspaper accused her of adultery and said she was 22.

At the time of Atefah’s execution in Neka, journalist Asieh Amini heard rumours the girl was just 16 years old and so began to ask questions.

“When I met with the family,” says Asieh, “they showed me a copy of her birth certificate, and a copy of her death certificate. Both of them show she was born in 1988. This gave me legitimate grounds to investigate the case.”

Atefah was first arrested by the ‘moral’ police at the age of 13 for ‘crimes against chastity’, at which point she was imprisoned for a year and subjected to 100 lashes.

Soon after her release, Atefah became involved in an abusive relationship with a man three times her age.

Former revolutionary guard, 51-year-old Ali Darabi – a married man with children – raped her several times.

She kept the relationship a secret from both her family and the authorities.

Atefah was soon caught in a downward spiral of arrest and abuse.

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