Islamic Court Frees Iranian Teen From Death Sentence Following International Campaign Waged by Former Miss Canada



    TEHRAN, Iran, Jan. 31 /CNW/ -- After two grueling years in prison,
Iranian teen Nazanin Fatehi was released today and spared from her original
death sentence following an international campaign spearheaded by former Miss
World Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam.
    Emotions ran high at the entrance gate of Evin prison, where 19-year-old
Nazanin Fatehi was greeted by supporters and reunited with her family. Nazanin
had a very emotional reunion with her family members.  She could not believe
that this day had arrived.  She cried in her mother's arms and embraced her
siblings and father.
    After she finished greeting her family, Nazanin's lawyer, Mr. Mostafaei,
said that she told him that she now wants to go to school and study hard to
get her life back.  Soon after, Mr. Mostafaei got a phone call from some of
the inmates who Nazanin met and they told him they missed her already.  Her
freedom was granted a few days after the required 400 million rials
(approximately $43,000 USD) bail money was handed over to the court.
    Most of the bail payment was raised by HelpNazanin.com, a web site
created by pop singer and human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam.  Some
donations were collected in Iran, as well as a generous donation from Canadian
Member of Parliament Belinda Stronach.
    Fatehi was initially sentenced to death for murder by a court in Iran
after she stabbed, in self-defense, one of three men who attempted to rape her
and her 15-year-old niece in a park in Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, in March
2005.  She was 17 at the time.
    On June 1, 2006, following extensive international pressure and media
coverage, Iranian Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi announced a stay of
execution and a new trial.  During the new trial on January 10, 2007, the five
judges presiding over the case found inconsistencies with the testimonies of
the male witnesses and unanimously overturned the charge of premeditated
murder.
    Although the court recognized that Fatehi acted in self defense, it ruled
that excessive force was used.  Therefore, the court asked Fatehi to pay
"diyeh" (blood money) to compensate the family of the deceased -- a judgment
that her lawyers, Shadi Sadr and Mr. Mostafaei, vehemently oppose and will
appeal.
    Bodog Music recording artist Nazanin Afshin-Jam's relentless year-long
campaign to save the life of her namesake included a petition signed by
345,000 people, numerous speeches and rallies worldwide and months on the
media circuit.  With the help of Mina Ahadi, head of the International
Committee Against Execution, Afshin-Jam engaged and received support from
Amnesty International, Canadian Members of Parliament, the European Union and
the United Nations.  Afshin-Jam also hosted "The Tale of Two Nazanins," a
documentary funded and produced by the Calvin Ayre Foundation.
    "I spoke with Nazanin Fatehi this morning.  She's in good spirits and
wanted me to pass on the message of how thankful she is for everyone's
support," Nazanin Afshin-Jam said.  "We're thrilled that she is free and
reunited with her family.  We must not forget the 23 other juveniles currently
on death row in Iran.  Iran is a signatory to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights and also the Charter of the Rights of the Child,
which forbid the execution of persons under the age of 18, although Iran
continues to do so.  We must get to the root of the problem and put pressure
on the Iranian officials to change the laws once and for all."
    To find out more about the case of Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, see
www.helpnazanin.com.
    For an interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam about the case, please call
media relations at 1-866-591-0217 or email at: nazaninpr@bodogmusic.com.

    
    About Bodog Music
    
    BodogMusic.com is a division of the international digital entertainment
giant Bodog.com.  With six offices worldwide, the label features a diverse and
growing roster of talented musicians.  Bodog Music is searching for the top
unsigned band in America with "Bodog Battle of the Bands," which is taking
place in 17 major markets and features more than 300 live shows.  Bodog Music
Founder Calvin Ayre, who is recognized as a world authority on branding in the
digital entertainment industry, was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine's
best-selling "Billionaires" issue in March 2006.  Bodog.com Entertainment also
includes a television production unit, an online magazine, Bodog Nation, and
further properties coming soon.  For more information, contact
publicity@bodogmusic.com.  BODOG is a registered trademark of Bodog.com
Entertainment Group.





For further information:

For further information: Bodog Music, +1-866-591-0217, 
publicity@bodogmusic.com Web Site: http://www.BodogMusic.com                 
http://www.HelpNazanin.com

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