Iran's Execution Of Young Woman Reyhaneh Jabbari Is 'Bloody Stain' On Nation, Says Amnesty

25/10/2014 14:29 | Updated 25 October 2014

This is the moment that an Iranian mother weeps as she learns her young daughter has been hung for the murder of the man she said was trying to rape her.

Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old interior designer, was sent down to the gallows and hanged at dawn for premeditated murder, despite worldwide please for mercy.

Peace activists who had campaigned for clemency released the video apparently of Jabbari's mother Sholeh Pakravan wailing in the early hours outside Gohardasht prison in the city of Karaj where her daughter was executed, but the film has not been independently verified.

Activists said that Pakravan was only allowed one final hour with her daughter earlier in the week, and had only been informed of her imminent death with a few hours notice.

Activists also circulated a letter Jabbari wrote to her mother, asking her to ensure her organs were donated after her execution. " I don’t want to rot under the soil," she wrote. "I don’t want my eye or my young heart to turn into dust. Beg so that it is arranged that as soon as I am hanged my heart, kidney, eye, bones and anything that can be transplanted be taken away from my body and given to someone who needs them as a gift.

"I don’t want the recipient know my name, buy me a bouquet, or even pray for me. I am telling you from the bottom of my heart that I don’t want to have a grave for you to come and mourn there and suffer.

"I don’t want you to wear black clothing for me. Do your best to forget my difficult days. Give me to the wind to take away."

She said she would see her accusers "in the court of God".

"I will charge the judges of country’s Supreme Court that beat me up when I was awake and did not refrain from harassing me," she wrote. "In the court of the creator I will charge ll those that out of ignorance or with their lies wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn’t pay heed to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it.

"In the other world it is you [her mother] and me who are the accusers and others who are the accused. Let’s see what God wants. I wanted to embrace you until I die. I love you."

The local news agency quoted the court ruling as rejecting the claim of attempted rape and saying all evidence proved that Jabbari had plotted to kill Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence agent. Amnesty International and other human rights groups had called on Iran's judiciary to halt the execution.

According to the court ruling Jabbari, 27, stabbed Sarbandi in the back in 2007 after purchasing a knife two days earlier.

reyhaneh jabbari

Iranian Reyhaneh Jabbari speaking to defend herself during the first hearing of her trial for the murder of a former intelligence official

"The knife had been inflicted on the back of the deceased, indicating the murder was not self-defense," the agency quoted the court ruling as saying. "Jabbari had repeatedly confessed to premeditated murder, then tried to divert the case from its course by inventing the rape charge," said the statement carried by IRNA.

"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 was found guilty of premeditated murder in 2009 but the sentence was only carried out after Iran's Supreme Court upheld the verdict.Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said in early October that a "good ending" was in sight, and the victim's family could have saved Jabbari's life by accepting blood money but they refused to do so.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme, said: “The shocking news that Reyhaneh Jabbari has been executed is deeply disappointing in the extreme. This is another bloody stain on Iran’s human rights record 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.”

Iranian media reports say the family insisted on their legal rights under the Islamic principle of "an eye for an eye" partly because Jabbari accused Sarbandi of being a rapist in what became a highly publicised media campaign. Jabbari admitted to stabbing Sarbandi once in the back but said there was someone else in the house who actually killed the man.

Tobias Ellwood, Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East, said: "The UK strongly opposes the use of the death penalty. I am very concerned and saddened that it has been used in the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari where there have been questions around due process.

"The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, noted that her conviction was allegedly based on confessions made while under threat, and the court failed to take into account all evidence into its judgement.

"Actions like these do not help Iran build confidence or trust with the international community. I urge Iran to put a moratorium on all executions."

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