The Iranian authorities must stop the execution of a woman due to be hanged tomorrow morning after being convicted for the killing of a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her, said Amnesty International.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 after a deeply flawed investigation and trial. Her execution was due to be carried out on 30 September but was postponed for 10 days.
“Time is running out for Reyhaneh Jabbari, the authorities must act now to stop her execution,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“The death penalty is a despicable punishment that is both cruel and inhumane. Applying such a punishment in any circumstances is an affront to justice, but doing so after a flawed trial that leaves huge questions hanging over the case only makes it more tragic.”
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was placed in solitary confinement for two months and was denied access to a lawyer or her family. She was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.
Reyhaneh Jabbari apparently admitted to stabbing in the back Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, whom she said had tried to sexually assault her. However, she said that another man who was also in the house at the time killed him. Her claims do not appear to have ever been properly investigated.
Iran’s judicial authorities are also reported to have pressured Reyhaneh Jabbari to replace her lawyer, Mohammad Ali Jedari Foroughi, for a more inexperienced one, in an apparent attempt to prevent an investigation of her claims.
Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution has been deferred a number of times, including in the last month.
“Instead of repeatedly rescheduling Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution date, the Iranian judiciary should order a re-trial that complies with international standards for fair trial without recourse to the death penalty,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.
Reyhaneh’s mother told Amnesty International that she met her daughter for one hour today, but prison officials refused to give the family any details of Reyhaneh’s imminent transfer to a place of execution.