We previously discussed the pending execution of Rayhaneh Jabbari, 26, for killing a former Iranian intelligence official who she said had raped her. Early reports that the execution had been carried out were premature and international efforts intensified to save Rayhaneh. I regret to report that the Associated Press is now confirming that today the Iranians hanged Rayhaneh in the latest outrage to come from that medieval legal system.
Jabbari claimed that a former Iranian Intelligence Ministry employee tried to rape her and that she stabbed in him the shoulder to escape. Despite the fact that a drink given to her was found to contain a date rape drug, the Iranian officials still wanted her hanged and they have now carried out their intent. Earlier this month, a guard showed mercy and gave her his phone to type a final message to her mother. Her reported message below is poignant and tragic as a final goodbye to her mother.
“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.”
When her mother called the prison to ask what she could do, they told her to pick up the body of her daughter.
Jabbari was a decorator who said that she was contacted Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, who arranged a meeting. She said that Sarbandi drugged her and tried to rape her after the two met at a café and she agreed to go to his office to discuss a business deal. She said that Sarbandi took her to a remote building and offered her a fruit drink which was later found to contain the date-rape drug. Her family noted that the wounds from a small pocket knife to the shoulder would not have caused death.
After her arrest, her family said that she was tortured to confess.
The official IRNA news agency says Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn Saturday for premeditated murder.
The execution was carried out after Sarbandi’s family refused to pardon Jabbari or accept blood money. Blood money is still used in countries enforcing the Sharia “legal” system based on Islamic principles.
Her case highlighted not just the archaic and abusive elements of Sharia “courts” but the absurd lack of basic procedural and substantive rights of defendants in Iran.