Reyhaneh Jabbari, the Iranian woman who killed her alleged rapist in 2007 and was sentenced to death in 2009, has been hanged.
Prosecutors alleged that in 2007, Jabbari bought a knife two days prior to stabbing Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former official in Iran’s intelligence service, according to this Inquisitr report. Jabbari’s defense — that Sarbandi had tried to sexually abuse her — was repeatedly rejected by the conservative nation’s legal system, at all levels of the appeals process.
Iran’s official state news agency IRNA issued a statement, via The Globe and Mail, saying that Jabbari’s claim that she was a victim was unfounded.
“Jabbari had repeatedly confessed to premeditated murder, then tried to divert the case from its course by inventing the rape charge. But all her efforts to feign innocence were proven false in various phases of prosecution. Evidence was firm. She had informed a friend through text message of her intention to kill. It was ascertained that she had purchased the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, two days before committing murder.”
Jabbari’s hanging came after last-ditch efforts to have her sentence commuted failed. Under Iran’s system of Sharia law, Jabbari could have been spared if the victim’s family had agreed to forgive her, or to accept a payment of “blood money.” Both of those efforts were rejected, according to The Atlantic.
A social media campaign designed to bring attention to Jabbari’s case did seem to cause at least a slight delay in her execution, according to BBC News, although ultimately her fate landed on Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has power even beyond the law in Iran. Khamenei never mentioned Jabbari’s case, and according to Globe and Mail, he rarely intervenes in criminal cases.
Jabbari’s hanging brought condemnation from human rights groups. Amnesty International’s Raha Bahreini told The Independent that Jabbari’s hanging underscores the inherent cruelty in capital punishment.
“Like many others, we are absolutely shocked by this travesty of justice. Reyhaneh’s execution is a tragic moment for many people in Iran and for the members of the international community hoping for different outcome. Her case personifies the outrage of many in Iran and across the globe over the use of the death penalty, which is a despicable, cruel and inhumane punishment.”
— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) October 25, 2014
According to Amnesty International, Jabbari’s hanging brings the number of people executed in Iran to over 250 this year alone.
[Image courtesy of: Il Giornale]