Iranian Rape Victim's Execution Postponed Because of Public Outcry

| by Lisa Fogarty

An Iranian woman who was sentenced to death after she was convicted of murdering a man who tried to rape her has had her execution postponed. 

Rayhaneh Jabbari, 26, was scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday, but her mother told that protesters – herself included – may have had a hand in stopping the execution from going forward.

A petition that features the signatures of 200,000 people from around the world was presented to an Iranian court and the decision to postpone the killing was reportedly made based on public pressure.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Amnesty International, defended the decorator, who was found guilty of stabbing former Intelligence officer Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi in 2007: “This abhorrent execution must not be allowed to take place, particularly when there are serious doubts about the circumstances of the killing. Instead of continuing to execute people, authorities in Iran should reform their judicial system, which dangerously relies on processes which fail to meet international law and standards for fair trial.”

Jabbari and her supporters claim the young woman, who was 19 at the time, was taken to a remote location by Sarbandi and that he offered her a drink that forensic tests found contained a date-rape drug. The woman then reportedly stabbed Jabbari in the shoulder and left him there, where he bled to death.

Her supporters and attorneys believe the man was set up and that someone else murdered him because, they argue, a small pocketknife wound couldn’t have resulted in his death.

Prior to finding out her execution would be postponed, Jabbari reportedly called her mother and said: “I am currently handcuffed and there is a car waiting outside to take me for the execution of the sentence. 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.”


Photo Credit: Reuters, Gatestone Institute