Frontline’s Iran Screening Season: Execution of a Teenage Girl

Screening Monday 20th August, 2007

Using undercover footage, eyewitness accounts and drama reconstruction, this film tells an unforgettable story of the life and tragic death of an ordinary teenage girl under Iran’s mullahs.

On August 15th, 2004 a 16-year-old girl was hanged in a public square in Neka, Iran, a small industrial town by the Caspian Sea.  Her death sentence was for ‘crimes against chastity’.  Her name was Atefah Sahaaleh. 

The only evidence against Atefah was her own forced confession. Atefah railed against her judge in court for its unfairness, but this was her undoing.  Judge Haji Reza’i, who was also the local mullah, prosecutor and head of the city administration, personally obtained permission from Iran’s Supreme Court to execute her, and put the noose around her neck himself before she was hoisted on a crane jib arm to her death. 

There are at least 14 other women who are currently awaiting their executions in Iranian prisons. Their sentences will be carried out by either hanging or stoning.

Please note that director Monica Garnsey will not be attending the event due to a flight cancellation in the Caribbean because of severe weather.