* There is no room for dissent in a totalitarian mullah state….
The charge has been prompted by an accusation issued by official sources, saying that the Nobel laureate has become Bahai. For the Iranian criminal code, this makes her worthy of death, and if someone were to kill her he would not be punished.
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 â€Žvictim 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 â€Žwho 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 â€Žcountry”.
Bangladeshi writer back in India
Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has returned to India to renew her visa which expires on Tuesday, officials say.
She flew in to Delhi from a European capital and was whisked off to an undisclosed location, they said.
Ms Nasreen was forced to leave Calcutta last November after angry protests by Muslims. She spent four months in Delhi before moving to Sweden.
She fled her native Bangladesh in 1994 when her book attracted death threats.
Ms Nasreen told some journalists by e-mail that she was keen to return to Calcutta to “gather her personal belongings, books and pet cats”.
“I have to be in Delhi for renewing my Indian visa, but my heart is in Calcutta,” Ms Nasreen said in her e-mail.
But the West Bengal state government is not willing to let her return to Calcutta now.
“We have to assess the situation because her coming back may provoke violence again,” said a senior police official in the state capital.
He said the Indian federal government had asked for the West Bengal government’s opinion on whether Ms Nasreen could be allowed to go to Calcutta, at least for a few days.
After spending several years in Sweden, she moved to Calcutta, an Indian city close to Bangladesh where her mother tongue of Bengali is spoken.
She was moved to Delhi last November after Muslim groups in Calcutta staged violent protests, accusing her of having insulted Islam.
Property was damaged in the riots and at least 43 people hurt.
Ms Nasreen rose to prominence in 1993 after her first book, entitled Lajja, or Shame, angered some of Bangladesh’s Muslims.
The book argued that Bangladeshis had mistreated the country’s Hindu minority.
A more recent novel by Ms Nasreen, Dwikhondito or Split in Two, was accused by some Muslim groups of causing offence to Islam.
She was also accused of calling for changes to be made to the Koran to give women more rights.
Ms Nasreen has vehemently denied making such remarks.Â