Iran: shameful execution of young woman after flawed investigation

Press release
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Paris, London, 27 October 2014 – FIDH and its Iranian member organizations, Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) and League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) strongly condemn the execution of Ms. Reyhaneh Jabbari early in the morning on Saturday 25 October in Iran.

" The execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari is yet another example of Iran’s flawed judicial system and the Iranian regime’s disregard for the right to life ," stated Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former officer for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Jabbari maintained that she had stabbed Sarbandi in self-defence, after he had allegedly attacked and tried to rape her. After an investigation and a trial that was marred with irregularities, Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009. Her sentence was strongly criticized both in Iran and internationally by several human rights groups, government representatives from around the world, and UN officials.

Despite recent calls from civil society and the international community, including the President of the European Parliament, urging the Iranian authorities to reverse Jabbari’s death sentence and allow her a fair retrial, she was hanged in Rajaishahr prison this past weekend.

Reports of Jabbari’s burial on 26 October indicate that State security agents were present in large numbers, who prevented the family from engaging in customary prayer rituals beside the corpse.

Our organizations are opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances as it constitutes an inhuman treatment, and call on the Iranian authorities to introduce a moratorium on executions as the first step toward the abolition of death penalty. The Iranian authorities must also ensure fair trials for all defendants and their access to lawyers of their choice.

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