Article 61

    Madeh 61

    • Mahvash Sheikholeslami
    • Iran
    • 2005
    • 73 min
    • Reflecting Images
    Fakhteh escaped from the man who had held her captive for two weeks, but the man did not survive the blow she dealt him. Article 61 of the Islamic criminal code states: "If, whilst defending one's life, honour, chastity, property or freedom against any immediate or imminent aggression, one makes an action which is an offence […] one will not be prosecuted and punished." In the Iranian courts, this rule is applicable, but is not always applied. In Article 61, we get acquainted with a number of women who, to protect themselves or their children, committed a murder. Despite the fact that none of them wittingly killed her attacker, these women were sentenced quid pro quo by the court - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Candidly, the women tell about their lives and the tragic events that landed them in jail. The lack of legal aid and the impossibility of further appeal put them in a dead-end situation. Once in a while, a letter from a desperate daughter or interference by an international human rights organisation manages to postpone an execution or have a woman released. But these are exceptions. The Evin Prison in Tehran buzzes with stories of women vainly hoping for protection by virtue of Article 61.

    Credits

    • 73 min
    • color
    • video
    • Spoken languages: Farsi
    Director
    Mahvash Sheikholeslami
    Production
    Mahvash Sheikholeslami
    Cinematography
    Nahid Siamdoust, Mohsen Nazari, Keivan Motamedi
    Editing
    Namdar Shirazi, Mahvash Sheikholeslami
    Sound
    Farzad Kamfar

    IDFA history

    2005
    Screened
    Reflecting Images

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