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Heard This Week - 02/07/2008

Heard This Week in Iran
on Radio Farda

Radio Farda Examines Death Sentence for Drunkenness...

February 5 -- Radio Farda interviewed human rights advocate Abdolkarim Lahiji [text in Persian], who said that as long as Iran maintains laws negating human rights -- like that used to impose a death sentence on a 22-year old man convicted of drunken and disorderly behavior [article in English] -- the danger of more such sentences remains.

...Investigates Stoning Sentence for Sisters Charged with Adultery...

February 5 -- In an interview with Radio Farda [text in Persian], the husband of Zohreh Kabiri, one of two sisters sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, revealed that he was the plaintiff: "I just wanted her to be punished and never thought that it might have such a consequence." On February 3, the sisters' lawyer told Radio Farda [audio in Persian] a procedural mistake opened the door to double jeopardy -- the sisters were initially arrested for "illegitimate relations" and punished with 99 lashes, then charged with adultery.

...Exposes Incompetence Concerning Suspicious Death in Custody...

February 6 -- Radio Farda interviewed lawyer Shirin Ebadi [text in Persian], who said it is now clear that the officers investigated in the death of Zahra Bani Yaghoub, who died in custody in October after being detained by morality police, were illiterate. Ebadi asked, "How can those who cannot even read or write and consequently know nothing of the law become judicial officers and bring about such catastrophes by their ignorance?"

...Debates Judiciary Chief's Decree to Limit Number of Public Executions...

February 1 -- Lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh, rights activist Hossein Bagherzadeh and academic Rasool Nafisi debated [audio in Persian / article in English] a decree by Judiciary Chief Hashemi-Shahrudi to limit the number of public executions -- including the potential that more executions will be carried out, but behind closed doors.

...Interviews Defense Analyst on Iran's New Missile.

February 4 -- Radio Farda interviewed Charles Heyman, a former editor of "Jane's World Armies" who said [audio in Persian] a new research rocket fired by Iran that day is not "terribly advanced and it does not look as though it is going very high." Heyman said Iran will gain experience from this launch, so one should not underestimate its significance.

Radio Farda, a joint project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA),
is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news service.