IRAN: EXECUTION OF A TEENAGE GIRL PART 3 OF 3
The judge was the powerful Haji Rezai, head judiciary in Neka. No court transcript is available from Atefah's trial but it is known that for the 1st time, Atefah confessed to the secret of her sexual abuse by Ali Darabi. However, the age of sexual consent for girls under Sharia law - within the confines of marriage - is nine & furthermore rape is very hard to prove in Iranian court.
"Men's word is accepted much more clearly and much more easily than women," according to Iranian lawyer & exile Mohammad Hoshi.
"They can say 'You know she encouraged me' or 'She didn't wear proper dress'."
When Atefah realised her case was hopeless, she shouted back at the judge & threw off her veil in protest. It was a fatal outburst. She was sentenced to execution by hanging while Darabi got just 95 lashes. Shortly before the execution, but unbeknown to her family, documents that went to the Supreme Court of Appeal described Atefah as 22.
"Neither the judge nor even Atefah's court appointed lawyer did anything to find out her true age," says her father & a witness claims "The judge just looked at her body & because of the developed physique, declared her as 22".
At 6AM her execution took place, the noose was fitted around her neck before she was hoisted on a crane to her death.
During the making of the documentary about Atefah's death the production team phoned Judge Haji Rezai to ask him about the case, but he refused comment.
The human rights organisation Amnesty International says it is concerned that executions are becoming more common again under President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad who advocates a return to the pure values of the revolution. The judiciary have never admitted there was any mishandling of Atefah's case.
For Atefah's father the pain of her death remains raw. "She was my love, my heart, I did everything for her, everything I could" he says.
He did not get the chance to say goodbye.