Human rights groups across the world are condemning the state of Iran for its execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old woman who killed a doctor who tried to rape her.
Despite international condemnation and efforts from Western human rights groups, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani did not repeal the sentence, which has been described as a miscarriage of justice by human rights groups.
Jabbari had admitted in 2009 that she killed doctor Dr. Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, 47, a physician and a former employee of the Ministry of Intelligence, but she did so in self-defense.
She was hanged under Iran’s eye-for-an-eye law, as the family of the victim had refused to forgive her.
Since Jabbari’s sentence was revealed, Western human rights organizations have been campaigning for her release.
Westerners are not the only ones who fought against Jabbari’s sentence: Some of Iran’s seniormost public figures, as well as a sizable portion of the general public, campaigned for the pardoning of Jabbari.
Respected master of Persian music, composer and Persian classical singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian went as far as to write an open letter to Sarbandi’s family, published on Facebook, begging them for mercy.
To convince the unconvinced, he pleaded, “When the public emotion reaches its highest climax, everyone expects good will and good work … Today the public conscience is awake and expects you to have mercy upon her … My suggestion and request is: ‘Don’t kill this girl.’”
This is not the only such example of social media outcry against Jabbari’s execution. Social media has become a tool for Iranians across the country to speak out against this event.
Jabbari confessed to having an accomplice in this killing but then retracted her statement.
According to the New York Times, The United Nations office for human rights stated that there was evidence proving Jabbari’s confession was forced with the threat of torture. Amnesty International said that the confession and Jabbari’s claims were “deeply flawed” and were never properly investigated.
Iran ranks second in the world, coming only after China, in the number of executions performed.
This is not the only breach of human rights that occurred in Iran in the past week.
Women were attacked with acid in the city of Isfahan, and Iran’s English news channel Press TV’s reporter Serena Shim was found mysteriously dead on the border of Syria and Turkey.
Women were attacked with acid for reportedly not wearing proper head dress and not following the country’s strict dress code.
Members of the public protested in response to this event and demanded justice for the victims, whose photos were released, showing them disfigured and heavily bandaged in hospital beds.
The Iranian government denied allegations that the attack was provoked by improperly covered women.
This series of events in Iran further proves that this male-dominated society has a tendency to blame women frequently for the crimes of men.
The judicial system of Iran has continued to take the side of men and cover up cases for “national security” purposes.
In response, Iranian officials have attacked U.N. reports on the latest activities in Iran. They are calling the reports an attempt to impose a Western lifestyle on the Islamic republic.
The continued struggle for universal human rights is still very prevalent, as seen with women’s struggles in Iran.
There were hopes that President Rouhani would turn around the bloody human rights record of Iran, but he has done quite the opposite, as executions in Rouhani’s first year in office have increased to what U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed called “alarming” levels.
Iran seems to continue moving backward on a human rights level, and reports being released by the U.N. and Western human rights organizations are not effective.
And so the trend of human violations continues with no solution in sight.