Nearly seven years ago, Reyhaneh Jabbari was convicted of murder for stabbing a burly man who attempted to rape her. Unfortunately for Jabbari, her rapist was an intelligence officer, meaning she had even less protection than she usually would to claim self-defense. Reyhaneh was given the death penalty, a punishment that was set to be carried out Monday but has been delayed up until now because of mass protests throughout the country calling for the Iranian woman’s crime to be called what it is — self-defense, not murder.
If it weren’t for all the uproar, Reyhaneh would have already been dead Tuesday morning for stabbing her rapist, but instead, the news media is reporting that Jabbari has been given a 10-day stay pushing back her execution, reported The Independent. It is unclear whether or not Reyhaneh’s conviction will face any new scrutiny at this point, but advocates for Jabbari’s freedom are hopeful that she could now avoid the death penalty after all.
The show of mercy for Reyhaneh was only short of bringing her back from the dead; several news media outlets had already reported that she had already been hung for killing her rapist last night. Even Jabbari’s tearful goodbye to her mother had made the rounds on social media. When her mother received the final letter from her daughter, she called the jail to beg for them to spare Reyhaneh, but was simply told the body would be ready for collection on Tuesday, reported International Business Times.
“I am currently handcuffed and there is a car waiting outside to take me for the execution. Goodbye, dear Mum. All of my pains will finish early tomorrow morning. I’m sorry I cannot lessen your pain. Be patient. We believe in life after death. I’ll see you in the next world and I will never leave you again because being separated from you is the most difficult thing to do in the world.”
Although Iran does not outlaw self-defense against rapists, Jabbari’s tale was twisted, say her parents, by torture in the interrogation room. Reyhaneh eventually admitted to premeditated murder, even though she initially claimed that she was drugged by her rapist — a claim that was backed up by a glass of orange juice containing sedatives found at the scene.
Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution has faced worldwide condemnation from prominent leaders, the media and human rights organizations. It is unclear if it is the mounting external pressure that has caused Iran to reconsider hanging Jabbari.
[Image via Flickr]