Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shahrudi Can Stop Delaram Ali’s Prison Sentence
Shirin Ebadi in Interview with Rooz: - 2007.11.06
Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the defense attorney for Delaram Ali, the woman human ‎rights activist who was arrested at a women’s rally on June 12, 2006 and sentenced to 2 ‎years and six months imprisonment and must present herself to prison authorities told ‎Rooz Online, “This judgment must be executed unless ayatollah Shahrudi, the head of ‎Iran’s judiciary branch of government, orders a stay of the execution of the order, ‎something that has already been requested from him.”‎
Delaram Ali was arrested at a peaceful rally and physically attacked by the police. But ‎she failed in her efforts, despite the documents she presented to the judge, to hold those ‎who violated her to any legal responsibility. The judgment against Delaram is the ‎harshest punishment given to any person participating in a peaceful demonstration in ‎recent years. Shirin Ebadi described her case in these words, ”Delaram Ali was attached ‎and brutally beaten up by law enforcement officers on the day she participated in a ‎peaceful and legal demonstration. They broke her arm and I filed a suit against the police ‎on her behalf. But even though we had rock solid evidence and documentation against ‎her violators, the prosecutor issued an order stopping the case. Then a revolutionary court ‎in sentenced her imprisonment.”‎
On her own website, Delaram Ali engaged in a dialog with her violators and wrote the ‎following to them: “Do you remember June 12, 2006? I know you will erase it from your ‎memory with a little effort, but I remember it every second, every moment and with ‎every phone ring my brother. Do you know why? Because on that day you went home to ‎your family and I went to Evin prison. You ate a warm dinner in your own hose, while I ‎was the guest of the interrogators. Because the scale of justice brought you an acquittal ‎but a 2 year plus 10 month prison sentence for me, and 10 slashes.”‎
According to Ebadi, the charges against Delaram were activities against state security and ‎propaganda against the regime by participation in the June 12 demonstration. “The ‎court’s judgment went to the appellate court and ended with the 2 year plus six month ‎prison sentence. They merely reduced the punishment by a few months and the slashes. ‎In her case, the court judgment was never submitted to the attorneys, who were not ‎allowed to participate in the trial, or any step in the civil procedure leading to the ‎sentence. On Sunday, they informed Delaram of the court’s sentence, and so she must ‎present herself to the judiciary officials to serve her term. And to show that she is not ‎shaken by the court judgment which will not effect her convictions or commitment to ‎fight for women’s rights, Delaram announced that while the judgment was illegal and ‎unfair, she would, like Socrates, present herself to prison authorities,” Ebadi said. “It is ‎clear that the punishment is out of proportion to my client’s activism and her behavior is ‎not a violation of any law. Because the constitution allows individuals to participate in ‎legal demonstrations which do not require a permit. Furthermore, on June 12, before ‎people had even gathered for the rally and while no one had given any talk at the place, ‎the police attached those who were present and violently dispersed them. The charges of ‎engaging in propaganda against the state is in fact Delaram’s activism to demonstrate to ‎the gender discriminatory laws to the public. I do not understand how does reading a law ‎in public and saying ‘this is the law’, constitute propaganda against the regime. If the ‎state believes that these laws are so unfair that they must not be read in public, and if they ‎are then this constitutes an activity against the state, then why does it not do anything to ‎reform these laws.”‎
Regarding the immunity that some individuals enjoy because of their connections to the ‎judiciary or the police while they have had clear responsibilities in many cases ranging ‎from what are known as the ‘serial murders’ to Zahra Kazemi’s murder in prison, Ebadi ‎said, “This is what I and all defenders of human rights activists [in Iran] are protesting ‎against. Unfortunately, the judiciary behaves in a manner that makes the implementation ‎of justice an impossible feat in many cases.”‎
Ebadi once stressed that she would use all domestic and international resources to defend ‎the rights of her clients. On whether this sentence was intended to send a message to the ‎civil society and women’s rights activists, Ebadi said, “The judiciary must be asked about ‎the message. But I can say on behalf of my clients that not only will these sentences not ‎cause them to stop demanding their rights, but will in fact make them more resolute in ‎their pursuit of their human rights.”‎

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