TEHRAN, Iran (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — Iran hanged a woman on Saturday who was convicted of murdering a man she said was trying to rape her, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Amnesty International and other human rights groups had called on Iran’s judiciary to halt the execution. But IRNA said Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn for premeditated murder. It quoted the court ruling as rejecting the claim of attempted rape and saying all evidence proved that Jabbari had plotted to kill Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence agent.
According to the court ruling Jabbari, 27, stabbed Sarbandi in the back in 2007 after purchasing a knife two days earlier.
“The knife had been inflicted on the back of the deceased, indicating the murder was not self-defense,” the agency quoted the court ruling as saying.
IRNA said the police investigation found that Jabbari sent a text message to a friend saying she would kill Sarbandi three days before the deadly incident.
Jabbari was found guilty of premeditated murder in 2009 but the sentence was only carried out after Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict. The victim’s family could have saved Jabbari’s life by accepting blood money but they refused to do so.
Iranian media reports say the family insisted on their legal rights under the Islamic principle of “an eye for an eye” partly because Jabbari accused Sarbandi of being a rapist in what became a highly publicized media campaign.
In a statement ahead of the hanging Amnesty said the investigation had been “deeply flawed” and that Jabbari’s claims “do not appear to have ever been properly investigated.” The group is opposed to the death penalty and has long condemned Iran’s use of capital punishment.
The U.S. State Department also condemned the execution, saying in a statement: “There were serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case, including reports of confessions made under severe duress. Iranian authorities proceeded with this execution despite pleas from Iranian human rights activists and an international outcry over this case. We join our voice with those who call on Iran to respect the fair trial guarantees afforded to its people under Iran’s own laws and its international obligations.”
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