Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Saving Leyla M.

UPDATE 12/16/2004
Cindy had a good suggestion. If you're willing to help, then read the rest of this update. We may not be able to do much. But, let's try.

Send letters to the Human Right Commission at the U.N.

Committee against Torture

Mail :
Petitions Team
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Fax : + 41 22 917 9022
E-mail: (particularly for urgent matters)


Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Mail :
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
c/o Division for the Advancement of Women,
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations Secretariat
2 United Nations Plaza, DC-2/12th Floor
New York, NY 10017
United States of America

Fax : + 1-212-963-3463

Hiwa at Kurdistan Bloggers Union brought the story of Leyla M. to my attention. She is a mentally retarded Iranian girl, who is facing execution for adultery charges. The girl was forced to work as a prostitute at age 10 by her mother. Now, she's paying the price of someone else's decisions.

The independent reported yesterday:

A teenage girl with a mental age of eight is facing the death penalty for prostitution in Iran. The trial comes only four months after the hanging of another mentally ill girl for s*x before marriage in a case that has prompted a human rights lawyer to prepare a charge of wrongful execution against the presiding judge.

The girl, known as Leyla M, is in prison while the Supreme Court decides on her "acts contrary to chastity", among the most serious charges under Iranian law. Under the penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.

In an interview on a Persian-language website, the 19-year-old says she was forced into prostitution by her mother at the age of eight. Amnesty International refers to reports that say she was repeatedly raped, bore her first child aged nine and was passed from pimp to pimp before having another three children.

She told the website: "The first time I was taken to a man's house by my mum I was eight. It was a horrible night and I cried a lot but then my mum came the next day and took me home. She bought me chocolate and cheese curls."

Read more..

I'm not sure how we could help save her life. I'm disgusted by what this human must suffer. No woman should be treated this way, especially when she's mentally retarded.

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