Middle East

Iran 'delays' Reyhaneh Jabbari execution after campaign

Save Reihaneh Facebook page Image copyright Facebook
Image caption A campaign calling for a halt to the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari was launched on Facebook on Monday

An Iranian woman due to be put to death for killing a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her is reported to have had her execution postponed.

Officials said on Monday that Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, had been transferred to a prison west of Tehran to be hanged.

But activists claimed on Tuesday that an online campaign had persuaded the state to give her a 10-day reprieve.

The human rights group Amnesty International said she was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation.

Ms Jabbari 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, where she reportedly did not have access to a lawyer or her family, and was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.

Amnesty said that although Ms Jabbari admitted to stabbing Mr Abdolali Sarbandi once in the back, she alleged that there was someone else in the house who actually killed him.

Her claim is believed to have never been properly investigated.


The authorities appeared to be pressing ahead with the execution on Monday, when they confirmed that Ms Jabbari had been transferred to Rajaishahr prison and would be hanged.

A campaign calling for a halt to the execution was launched on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #SaveReyhanehJabbari. Photographs of a protest outside the prison were also posted.

On Tuesday, activists and bloggers reported that Ms Jabbari's execution appeared to have been postponed so that Mr Abdolali Sarbandi's family could be consulted.

They cited a letter reportedly written by Ms Jabbari's mother, Sholeh Pakravanin, thanking people for their support and efforts to save her daughter's life.

The development comes after activists said a former psychologist had been executed for "corruption on Earth and heresy in religion" near the city of Karaj on Wednesday.

Mohsen Amir Aslani, 37, was arrested nine years ago after giving religious classes in which he provided his own interpretations of the Koran, they said. He was subsequently accused by the authorities of insulting the Prophet Jonah, the activists added.

Iran's judiciary has denied that Mr Amir Aslani's execution was linked to his religious beliefs.

Officials instead accused him of having had illicit sexual relationships with a number of people who attended his classes, the Guardian said.

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