No, she was not mad
Requiem for Ateqeh Rajabi
August 25, 2004
Sixteen-year-old Ateqeh Rajabi was publicly hanged
in the city centre in Neka in the northern Iranian province of
on 15 August
for "acts incompatible with chastity" after having been
arrested a few months earlier for having sexual relations [Amnesty
International]. She had no attorney at any stage of the farce.
During the "trial", she expressed her outrage at the
misogyny and injustice in society and "judicial" system
and even removed some of her clothing. The lower court "judge" was
so incensed by her protestations that he personally put the noose
around her neck after his decision had been upheld by the "Supreme
In some reports on her execution, Ateqah has been labelled "mentally
I suppose it could be nothing but madness that drives a 16 year
old to rage against the system. That drives Zahra Kazemi to take
photographs in front of Evin prison. That drives Shahla Jahed to
scream out in "court" against the torture she had faced
and her execution order. That drives Maryam Ayoubi to rage against
her stoning order.
I suppose it must be madness that brings hundreds of women to the
streets of Iran on International Women"s Day to burn the
hejab, that makes tens of thousands "improperly" veil
despite the arrests and fines and harassment.
Reading that Ateqeh was mad reminds me of the innumerable protesting
women deemed mad for their centuries. But dear readers, there is
It is not sweet 16 Ateqah who is mad for her century but the regime
that has just brutally ended her life.
Maryam Namazie is the host of TV
International English, is a Central Council Member
of the Organisation of Women's Liberation and Director
of the International Relations Committee of the Worker-communist
Party of Iran.