Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save Delara!

Delara Darabi, a young woman convicted of a murder allegedly committed five years ago when she was seventeen, has been sentenced to death in her homeland of Iran.   From an article by Golnaz Esfandiari:

Life Story Through Painting

On death row, she has told the story of her life through her paintings, most of them dark. 

In 2006, rights activists organized an exhibition of her work in Tehran in order to bring attention to her situation and to protest against her innocence. 

In a welcome message to visitors, Darabi described her paintings as an "an oath to a crime I didn't commit." 
It is very unlikely that the murder was committed by a girl with a frail body. A strong young man was there. How is it possible that the murder was done by a weak girl?

Khoramshahi says the years Darabi has spent in jail with a death sentence hanging over her head has taken its toll on the young artist. She reportedly attempted to commit suicide in her cell in 2007. 

"Bearing prison is very difficult for a girl who was studying and at the age of 17 ended up behind prison bars. Delara's three sisters and her parents have been also [affected] by her situation, they're psychologically distressed," Khoramshahi says.

Delara's father has, in a letter, called on the head of Iran's judiciary to stave off her execution. He says living is very difficult, knowing that his 23-year-old child has been sentenced to death. 

His daughter has spent the best years of her life in prison, he says, and has been denied the possibility of having a positive role in society.

Her lawyer has called on artists and others who want to save Darabi's life to try to convince the family of the victim to give up their demand for "qesas" (retribution) and let her live. 

Iranians have also launched a campaign on Facebook and Twitter to spare Darabi's life.

Darabi is just one of over 70 juvenile offenders facing execution in the Islamic republic, according to human rights groups.<<

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