The fundamentalist regime of Iran has sentenced two women to death for so-called “crimes against morality,” according to Amnesty International UK. Leyla M., a mentally disabled 19-year-old, has been sentenced to be flogged and then executed. Leyla, who was forced into prostitution at the age of eight by her mother, received 100 lashes for prostitution at the age of nine when she gave birth to her first child. Sold to an Afghan man to be his “temporary wife” at the age of 12, the man’s mother continued to force her to “sell herself without her consent,” according to Amnesty. At 14, Leyla became pregnant again and was, again, sentenced to100 lashes. Leyla was subsequently sold to a 55-year-old man who had her customers come to his house.
A second woman, Hajieh Esmailvand, has been sentenced to death by stoning (buried up to her neck and stoned to death) by the Supreme Court of Iran. Charged with adultery, Esmailvand was initially sentenced by a lower court to five years imprisonment followed by execution by hanging. According to the Women’s’ Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI), Esmailvand has been jailed since January 2000.
“When will these barbaric acts against women stop? How can we sit by and watch innocent women brutally killed by extremist regimes around the world,” demanded Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, asking the international community to join with Amnesty International UK and WFAFI to express outrage at these horrific acts.