Despite an international campaign by human rights monitors, governments, and individuals around the world, the Iranian regime has executed a young woman who claimed she stabbed a man who was attempting to sexually assault her.
Twenty-six year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged in prison in Tehran on October 25. In 2009 she had been sentenced to die for the 2007 killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Ms. Jabbari said she stabbed Mr. Sarbandi when he tried to sexually assault her.
The Sarbandi family allegedly refused consent to vacate the capital judgment against her, a possible course under Iranian law.
In a statement ahead of Ms. Jabbari’s hanging, Amnesty International said the investigation into the case and the trial of Ms. Jabbari were deeply flawed, with authorities failing to consider key evidence and refusing the defendant access to a lawyer for months. The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed said that her conviction was allegedly based on confessions made under pressure.
The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany, among others, have condemned the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari. U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki noted in a written statement that there “were serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case, including reports of confessions made under severe duress. Iranian authorities,” she said, “proceeded with this execution despite pleas from Iranian human rights activists and an international outcry over this case. We join our voice with those who call on Iran to respect the fair trial guarantees afforded to its people under Iran’s own laws and its international obligations.”