Thoughts on Delara Darabi

When I found out that Delara Darabi had been executed on Friday, I felt defeat. I went through the motions, disseminating the news through Twitter, Facebook, and MMW.

I felt defeat again when I checked my news feeds the next day and noticed that few news outlets had broken the story. Outside of Twitter, very few in the blogosphere had reported on the story. In fact, outside of the Iranian blogosphere (which is ablaze with news of Darabi), MMW was the first one in the feminist blogosphere and one of the first in the Muslim blogosphere to report on Darabi’s execution. But instead of taking pride in my news breaking skills, I felt more defeat: where was everyone else who cared? Where were all the other reporters and bloggers? Why, after each passing hour, was there silence about Darabi? In the majority of the large news outlets, the story was not that Darabi had been executed, but that “human rights groups condemn” her execution.

I felt like something was over, and I was on the losing side of it.

But that’s what’s behind all this: Darabi’s execution, the lack of following governmental protocol (like informing her lawyer), the hurried burial without her parents’ notice or consent–this is all designed to make us go away. It’s designed to make us feel like we lost; it tells us to shuffle home and find something new to occupy us.

But according to DelaraDarabi’s Twitter account, her body may have showed signs of torture, and Iranian officials would not allow an independent examination before her burial. The suspicious circumstances around her execution and burial point to something larger that must be exposed.

Though Darabi has already been executed and buried, this is not over. Other Darabis exist, in prison cells and in courtrooms. Other women are mistreated, tortured, and beaten while in prison systems the world over, just like Darabi was. Whether she was the victim of judicial politics, a corrupt prison system, or fate, Darabi’s case stands as proof that we still have much work to do.

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