Editor's Note: Sadly, Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed by hanging on October 25, 2014.
Reyhaneh Jabbari is at risk of imminent execution for having killed a member of the Iranian intelligence services, Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a physician, who was attempting to rape her. Her execution verdict was signed a few days ago. She is now 26 years old and has been in Tehran's Evin prison since 2007.
In Iran, self defence does not justify death sentence -- especially in a rape case.
Please help us save Reyhaneh Jabbari from execution in Iran. Thank you.
Her Petition Background (31 Aug 2010)
Reyhaneh Jabbari is from Iran. She is now 22 years old and has been in Tehran's Evin prison where the last Wednesday of every month a number of prisoners are hanged.
In July 2007 she was alone inside a coffee shop; after a while she went out of the shop and talked on the phone about architecture and design. Morteza at that time went to her and asked to arrange a time one day to change the design of his house into an office.
The afternoon of 7th of July 2007, Morteza made an appointment with Reyhaneh that aimed to change the decoration, asked Reyhaneh's address via text and Reyhaneh gave him her address politely while there were no any romantic messages between them.
On the way home, Morteza stopped his car in front of a pharmacy -- some are lacking condoms - then they went into the apartment and Morteza closed the door. After a while, Morteza approached her and wanted to have sex with her, he had already made some drinks containing sleeping drugs. Reyhaneh did not allow him to rape her, therefore he asked her several times to have sex with him but Reyhaneh did not allow it and was in total disagreement with him because Morteza was much older than her and she did not want to have any emotional or sexual relationship. During this time she got more nervous and anxious.
Completely afraid, she took a knife out of her bag and stabbed him in the back of his right shoulder. The apartment door was locked and there was no way to ask anyone for help. At this moment, Morteza's friend entered and Reyhaneh immediately went out, took the elevator and ran out of the building. Morteza, because of heavy bleeding, died.
After that, an interrogator came up to the place and made a report. At that time Reyhaneh said to him that she was innocent, that she had met Morteza a week earlier, and said she killed him in self defense.
"The evening I was there, I knew that he wanted to rape me, so because of self defence I stabbed him and escaped," she said.
During a meeting concerning the case at the Criminal Court Branch 74, the family of the victim -- one girl and two boys -- stood up and demanded a "death sentence."
Reyhaneh explained that she had to defend herself: "Two and half months before the crime, I saw the doctor and his friend, at that time my phone was ringing, so I picked up the phone and was speaking to one of my friends about the decoration, and design, and the doctor's friend realized that I was an interior designer."
She added: "Mortza's friends came closer and got, my contact number to ask help to design a private health centre. After a couple of days, the doctor's friend's calls started and thereafter Morteza himself called and invited me to visit the flat, which was supposed to be converted to private health centre. The time was 6:15 that evening when I reached there, and I found Morteza looking suspicious. I was so worried and anxious so, I decided to take out the knife and I stabbed his right shoulder. Believe me, I just wanted to be safe, that is why I did it, because I had no other choice. The same day, Reyhaneh was sentenced, and the decision was confirmed by the supreme court.
Now, any moment it is possible for her to be hanged. Her crime is self defense and she does not deserve to die.
Please do not allow her to be hanged, she is now waiting for our help and support.
The Islamic Penal Code says that every individual has the right to protect, and defend themselves, and in Reyhaneh's situation, if the crime happened it would not be a criminal conviction.
PLEASE DO NOT LET REYHANEH JABBARI BE HANGED