I received an urgent email this morning from Tyla at Equality Now, informing me of Kobra Najjar’s desperate situation:
Equality Now is urgently concerned about Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery who lost her final appeal for amnesty. Iranian women’s rights activists working on her case report that Kobra has exhausted all domestic legal remedies and that her execution by stoning could happen any time.
Kobra is a victim of domestic violence who was forced into prostitution by her abusive husband in order to support his heroine addiction. He was murdered by one of Kobra’s “clients” who sympathized with her plight. Kobra has already served 8 years in prison as an accessory to her husband’s murder. The man who murdered her husband also served 8 years in prison and is now free after paying blood money and undergoing 100 lashes, while Kobra faces imminent stoning to death for adultery – the prostitution her husband forced upon her.
Equality Now is also concerned about recent reports of seven other women and one man, all accused of adultery sentenced to death by stoning, whose executions are also reported to be possible at any time. In Iran, adultery is the only crime punishable by stoning.
[. . .]
Please write to the Iranian officials below, calling for Kobra’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.
Equality Now has all of the relevant contact information, some of which I have reproduced below the jump.
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Ministry of Justice
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005
Equality Now notes that you may receive delivery problems from the above addresses, but to keep trying. They also ask that you contact the Iranian embassy in your country. A full database of Iranian embassies can be found here. Equality Now provides a partial list of embassies on their own website. Those most relevant to readers of this blog appear below:
United Kingdom: Embassy of Iran in London
United States: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202 9654990
Fax: 202 9651073
Canada: Embassy of Iran in Ottawa
Tel: 613 2354726 Ext 225
Fax: 613 2325712
Tyla noted in her email that “[i]mmediate action by the feminist community could be a crucial element in saving Kobra Najjar’s life.” Please take action now — and if you are aware of other ways to help Kobra Najjar, let me know and I will add that information to the post.