Iran Hangs Reyhaneh Jabbari Despite International Uproar

Reyhaneh Jabbari

Iran went ahead with the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari despite an international campaign that urged for her reprieve. A 26-year-old, Jabbari was hanged inside a Tehran prison on October 25 after being convicted of killing a former intelligence ministry worker who she alleged was trying to rape her.

Human rights group Amnesty International called Jabbari’s execution “deeply disappointing in the extreme” while both the British Foreign Office and the United States State Department condemned the execution.

Tobias Ellwood, Foreign Minister of the UK and a Member of Parliament called on Iran to do away with death penalty.

“The UN noted that her conviction was allegedly based on confessions made while under threat. I urge Iran to put a moratorium on all executions,” said Ellwood in a statement.

Jabbari was arrested for murdering Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence ministry worker, in 2007. After her arrest, Jabbari was placed in solitary confinement for as long as two months, during which she reportedly had no access to her lawyer or family members. In 2009, a criminal court in Tehran sentenced her to death. According to Amnesty International, Jabbari was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation.

A worldwide campaign seeking for a stay on Jabbari’s execution was launched on different social networking websites including Facebook and Twitter in September this year. While the heated campaign did manage to bring about a temporary stay of her execution, Iran’s state news agency reported on Saturday morning that Jabbari had in fact been executed after her family members failed to get consent for a reprieve from the victim’s family. The report also said Jabbari’s claims of murdering Sarabandi in self-defense had failed to be proved in court. The Facebook page that was set up for her campaigning now reads, “Rest in peace.”

Stop Execution

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, said, “This is another bloody stain on Iran's human rights record. … Tragically, this case is far from uncommon. Once again Iran has insisted on applying the death penalty despite serious concerns over the fairness of the trial.”

According to the human rights group, Jabbari did admit to stabbing Sarbandi once in the back but there was someone else inside the house at the time that actually killed him.  Sarbandi’s eldest son Jalal however, said Jabbari had refused to identify the real killer.

He told Iranian media in April, “Only when her true intentions are exposed and she tells the truth about her accomplice and what really went down will we be prepared to grant mercy.”

Reyhaneh Jabbari

The United Nations records suggest Iran has carried out close to 250 executions this year.

Photo Credits: il Giornale

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