Little over a year ago I posted on the dire circumstances of a young Iranian girl by the name of Delara Darabi, who at 17 was sentenced to death after a murder committed during a burglary.
On first hearing the tale smacks of teenage misguidance: having initially confessed at the behest of her then boyfriend, Amir Hossein, Delara later retracted her confession upon the realization that her under-18 status did not exempt her from the sentence of death.
Now aged 21, Delara continues to languish in that netherworld of uncertainty, the enactment of her sentence ever present and each day bearing the potential to be her last.
This week Delara’s lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, has disclosed that his client is now at imminent risk of execution as rumours circulate the prison that a date is to be set, despite the ongoing review of her sentence.
Yet Delara is not alone: women’s rights activists Khadijeh Moghaddam and Mahboubeh Karami were arrested in Tehran as they prepared for Nowruz with visits to the families of detained fellow activists.
Khadijeh and Mahboubeh are among tens of other activists still in detention and at high risk of torture.
Equally, there has been no news on the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who is awaiting sentencing after her arrest while conducting research on Iranian society.
Admittedly, the reasons these women are detained is varied, but this does not alter the human rights aspect.
Delara was arrested while still a juvenile; that her captors wait for her maturation before executing does not lessen the callousness of the act.
Likewise, the detainment of women’s rights activists rings with a dastardly irony as the government seeks to cover up its gender misdemeanours with even more grievous ones.
As the West extends its hand to Ahmadinejad, let’s hope it doesn’t dirty its cuffs with the blood of these women.
To find out more about Amnesty International’s campaign against child executions, click here.