Iran's ambassador dismisses protestors

Aftenposten: Iran's ambassador to Norway refused to meet the local head of Amnesty International on Monday. Amnesty is among those taking up the case of a young, retarded Iranian who's been sentenced to death. The 19-year-old, known only as "Leyla M," was forced into prostitution by her own mother at the age of eight. Aftenposten

Nina Berglund

Iran's ambassador to Norway refused to meet the local head of Amnesty International on Monday. Amnesty is among those taking up the case of a young, retarded Iranian who's been sentenced to death.

The 19-year-old, known only as "Leyla M," was forced into prostitution by her own mother at the age of eight. By age nine, she already was pregnant, and she's been repeatedly abused, raped and even sold as a sex slave throughout her young life.

An Iranian court has since convicted her of immoral behaviour and sentenced her to death by stoning and hanging. Both Amnesty International and Norway's own embassy in Teheran are among those mounting protests.

Petter Eide, secretary general for Amnesty in Norway, had an appointment to meet Iran's ambassador in Oslo at 11am Monday. Eide planed to deliver a petition with thousands of signatures protesting the pending execution of Leyla M.

The ambassador refused to open the embassy's doors to Eide, complaining that reporters were present. When reporters moved down the street, Iran's embassy remained closed.

"We were told that the police could come and deliver the petition on our behalf, but we can't use the police as messenger in a situation like this," Eide said.

Around 100 people demonstrated outside the embassy in Oslo earlier on Monday, protesting the planned execution.