Saturday, August 12, 2006

Zahra Kazemi Legal Report

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), based in Connecticut in the US, has come out with a full report detailing the "chronic, systemic problems in Iran's law enforcement and justice systems" using the internationally-known case of 54 year old photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who was brutally tortured to death in the hands of Iranian prison authorities in 2003.

The report is a no doubt useful legal document detailing the procedural and legal aspects of everything from Kazemi's permit to photograph in Iran, to her movements in the prison by the authorities, to her medical report, and to the aftermath of her death. And it is good to know that this significant and symbolic case is still being pursued.

The IHRDC has indeed achieved its aim of documenting things, but sadly, none of this documentation answers the basic question of who exactly is responsible for all of the horrible things (see pages 9 and 10 in the full report) that were done to Kazemi during the course of the 3 1/2 days of being in the custody of the prison authority. Essentially, after 3 years of work, no one has yet been charged with the responsibility of this extrajudicial killing. Someone, or ones, has gotten away with rape and murder.

But this is the most crucial thing of all -- without recourse, without the value of responsibility, things like this will continue to happen ( as happened with Akbar Mohammadi, with Atefeh Sahaaleh and surely others we know nothing of) and other "authorities" at all levels, from the revolutionary guards who roam the streets and conduct martial law to the very top of the list of outlaws who have granted themselves stewardship of the laws of the land, will continue to believe that they can attack people's human rights and get away with it. So far, nothing and nobody is stopping them from believing otherwise.

Labels: ,