On Saturday, Iran hanged a woman convicted of murdering a former intelligence officer she claimed had attempted to rape her—a defense the court and the man's family ultimately rejected.
IRNA, Iran's official news agency, says 27-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn Saturday for the 2007 murder. The court ruling dismissed Jabbari's claim of attempted rape, saying all evidence proved she had planned to kill Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence agent, after having purchased a knife two days earlier. However, the United Nations called on Iran for a retrial, saying the incident never received a full investigation and that she was denied a fair trial.
A robust campaign led by human-rights groups and prominent Iranians, which was amplified through social media, appeared to be gaining traction and it seemed for a short time that the sentence would be commuted. However, the execution was carried out after Sarbandi's family refused to pardon Jabbari or accept blood money—a possible provision under Sharia law.
"The shocking news that Reyhaneh Jabbari has been executed is deeply disappointing in the extreme," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program, in a statement. "This is another bloody stain on Iran’s human rights record."