Tehran (AsiaNews) - The life of Shirin Ebadi, Nobel peace prize winner in 2003, is in danger. Ebadi has been fearless in denouncing the oppression of human rights in her country. The alarm has been raised by Rooz, a website for Iranian exiles, which deduces it from the "charge" made a few days ago by the official news agency IRNA, saying that Ebadi and her daughter, a student at McGill University in Canada, have become members of the Bahai religion. The Bahai are considered a heretical Islamic group, and are persecuted.
The accusation, according to Rooz, is a sham set up to disguise the intention of having the woman killed, or at least of frightening her to the point of making her stop her activities in favor of human rights, or leave the country.
The explanation has been given on the basis of the Iranian criminal code. Article 226 stipulates that the killing of a person is subject to 'Ghesas', or retaliatory punishment, "only if the victim did not deserve death based on the Sharia, and if the victim deserved death the murderer must prove that in court, according to set criteria". According to Islamic law, apostasy, or abandoning Islam, is worthy of death. And her conversion to the Bahai faith puts Ebadi in this position.
As if that were not enough, a supplement to article 295 in the same criminal code stipulates that if a person kills another because he suspects that the victim deserves death, and this is proven in court, the killing is considered accidental homicide, and the author must only pay "blood money" to the victim's family. But if the killer proves that the victim deserved death, he doesn't even have to pay the "blood money", and will not face any penalty.
It is in the light of these laws that the article deduces in the first place that "they want to convince ignorant forces that Shirin Ebadi's death is necessary. Any Muslim who takes her life is not punished, and perhaps goes to heaven". In the second place, "they want to frighten her to abandon all human rights-related activities or even leave the country".