In the small Irania town of Neka the 16 years
old Atefah Rajabi had been convicted three
times of minor offends. Each time she spent
some time in jail and was given 100 lashes.
The judge and mullah Haji Rezaii wanted to
marry her for one hour - the Iranian way to
allow prostitution and love affairs - but she
kept refusing him.
He accused her of adultry after she had
complained about being abused by an elderly
taxidriver! In this way he could send her to
the gallows. Atefah showed her anger during
the trial: She tared off her veil and throw her
shoes at the judge.
On August 15, 2004 the judge Rezaii
personally put the noose around Atefeh's
neck and gave the signal for the crane to
hoist her body into the air. The teenage girl
was hanging for 45 minutes.
Afterwards, Rezaii said that his real reason
for executing her was her sharp tongue.
Atefah was buried afterwards, but in the
night someone stole her body from the grave.
A pharmacist, whose shop is not far away from the Railway Square, where Atefah was
hanged, recalls her final, painful hour. "When agents of the State Security Forces brought her
to the gallows, I felt cold sweat running down my back. She looked so young and innocent,
standing there in the middle of all these bearded men in military fatigues. Judge Rezaâ must
have felt a personal grudge against her. He put the rope around her neck and left her
dangling on the gallows for 45 minutes. I looked around and everyone in the crowd was
sobbing and damning the mullahs for doing this to our young people"