UN ‘shocked and saddened’ over Iran’s execution of alleged victim of rape

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The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it was “shocked and saddened ” by the execution of a woman in Iran who was sentenced to death for allegedly killing her attempted rapist.

Twenty-six year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged earlier this week at a prison in Tehran, the capital of Iran, despite a huge international outcry that called for halting the execution.

“We’re shocked and saddened by the execution on October 25 of Miss Reyhaneh Jabbari who was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of the Iranian intelligence ministry,” said UNHCR spokesman Rupert Colville.

“The execution of Miss Jabbari was carried out on Saturday despite repeated calls on the authorities by various United Nations human rights mechanisms, including the High Commissioner not to execute her.”

Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009. Since then, an international campaign sought to reprieve or retry the case, the pressure only appeared to delay the execution.

Iranian courts claimed that Jabbari’s claim of self-defence with regards to the incident was in fact a premeditated murder.

From ‘Save Reyhaneh Jabbari From Execution In Iran’ Facebook page

“The Iranian authorities apparently did make attempts to prevent the execution which was stayed at least twice in April and in September in order to enable the two families to reach a settlement,” Colville said. “However, it’s the government’s responsibility to prevent execution, especially when there is so much uncertainty about the events surrounding the killing and concerns over due process.”

Jabbari’s death sentence was carried out after she failed to get a reprieve from the family of the man she killed, as is required under the country’s Islamic law.

“We are very concerned about the increased use of the death penalty in Iran, as highlighted in the report of the special rapporteur on Iran which is being presented to the General Assembly later today,” Colville continued.

“Iran is also scheduled to appear before the Human Rights Council under the universal periodic review this Friday and we call on the Iranian authorities to make an explicit commitment to immediately institute a moratorium on the death penalty, particularly in light of the high number of executions taking place and the continuing serious concerns about fair trial and due process.”