By Chris Gee
A woman in Iran convicted of murdering a man she accused of trying to rape her was hanged at dawn saturday – despite an international campaign to save her.
The country’s official IRNA news agency said Reyhaneh Jabbari, a university student, was hanged for premeditated murder in a Tehran jail at dawn saturday.
It quoted the court ruling as rejecting the claim of attempted rape and saying all evidence proved that Jabbari plotted to kill Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence agent.
The court ruling said Jabbari, 27, stabbed Sarbandi in the back in 2007 after purchasing a knife two days earlier.
Human rights groups had called on Iran’s judiciary to halt the execution after claiming her conviction came after a deeply flawed investigation.
Amnesty International believes that although Jabbari has admitted stabbing the man once in the back, she has said another man who was also in the house at the time actually killed Sarbandi.
These claims could have exonerated her but are believed never to have been properly investigated, raising many questions about the circumstances of the killing.
The execution was carried out after Sarbandi’s family refused to pardon Jabbari or accept blood money.
A campaign calling for a halt to the execution was launched on Facebook and Twitter last month and appeared to have brought a temporary stay in execution.
Jabbari’s mother, Shole Pakravan, confirmed the execution in an interview today and said she was going to the cemetery to see her daughter’s body.
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International 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.”
Ms Sahraoui added: “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.”