Oct 252012

I came across a blog post by Matthew Waxman, a Columbia Law professor, regarding the current Iranian nuclear issue.  Waxman has written an essay featured on CNN.com entitled, “What the Cuban missile crisis teaches us about Iran.”  It is definitely worth a look…  Any thoughts?

Jan 102011

2011 begins with continuing human rights abuses.  Iran frequently shocks the international community with its lack of respect for fundamental human rights.  Iran has once again drawn ire for their conviction of Nasrin Soutoudeh, an Iranian human rights lawyer sentenced to 11 years in prison and banned from the practice of law for two decades.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Nasrin Soutoudeh “was convicted of acting against national security, propaganda against the regime and failing to wear the hijab, the Islamic headscarf…” The article continues:

…the mother of two, 46 or 47 years old, was tortured and in poor health when her family was finally allowed to see her, adding that her children burst into tears.

Sotoudeh aroused the ire of the judiciary earlier this year when she spoke out about the secret execution of one of her clients who was convicted of belonging to an outlawed monarchist group and hanged before dawn on Jan. 28, 2010, without Sotoudeh’s knowledge.

Governments, including the United Kingdom and France, have condemned the conviction; however, condemnation will likely not impede Iran’s long-standing practice of using Islamic law to justify human rights abuses.

Sep 062010

A final news update on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman that is the subject of my previous two blog postings.

Her lawyer confirmed that she was lashed 99 times last week for allegedly appearing in a photograph without her traditional head covering.  However, media outlets have claimed that the photo misidentified Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Her lawyer believes Ashtiani’s stoning sentence could be carried out soon.

The full AP story is here.

Sep 052010

Many of you may be following the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman facing the death by stoning after being convicted of adultery.

Brazil offered the woman asylum, but Iran rejected the offer.  Now, the Vatican is reportedly getting involved, hoping to pressure the Iranians to forego the death penalty.

The full story, via the AP, is here.

Last week I posted a post concerning Sharia law, and I would like to echo my concerns

Is it too much to hope that Iran’s judicial system could recognize, at the very least, a sense of proportionality?

May 122010

Many in India have  grown impatient over whether the US will allow Indian officials to interrogate Mumbai terrorist suspect David Headley.  According to the Times of India, “US ambassador Timothy Roemer… promised India’s direct access to.. Headley… in the weeks ahead.”  The full article is here.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that Headley will talk.  If he does, he could potentially provide incriminating evidence, thus hindering his US defense.

Yesterday I highlighted a story about two Chinese lawyers whose licenses were revoked after representing a client the Chinese government deemed part of an “evil cult.”  Human rights stories often dominate the news, and another newsworthy story concerns Bita Ghaedi.  Ghaedi fled from Iran to the UK to escape a forced marriage and in fear that her family would discover that she had a hidden lover.  Both are offenses under Iran’s sharia law, and Ghaedi fears death either by the government or her family (an honor killing).  The UK temporarily suspended Ghaedi’s deportation while she files a renewed application for judicial review.  More at the Guardian.

Ghaedi’s case showcases the ongoing challenges Western countries face as foreign nationals flee oppressive laws/regimes and seek protection in more liberal societies.  Frequently, petitioners are granted protection from sharia law.  Hopefully democracies will increasingly protest harsh treatment of women, minorities, and others under sharia law.