In Iran, a woman has received the worst possible sentence after stabbing a man who tried to rape her.
On Saturday, 27-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hung at dawn for what Iranian officials concluded was “premeditated murder.” Amnesty International said the sentence is another “bloody stain” on Iran's human rights record.
The event that led to Jabbari's execution took place in 2007. A man approached Jabbari in a cafe who happened to be an Iranian intelligence agent. He told her that he wanted to discuss business with her at his office.
However, when Jabbari arrived the man had no intention to talk business. He tried to drug and rape her. Fearing for her life, Jabbari grabbed a pocketknife and stabbed the man.
What any American court would likely dismiss as self-defense, an Iranian court declared cold-blooded murder.
Before her hanging, Jabbari was given a chance to make one last call to her mother Sholeh, who spent years trying to secure her daughter's release. Here are some of Jabbari's final words:
The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power.
You taught me that one comes to this world to gain an experience and learn a lesson and with each birth a responsibility is put on one’s shoulder. I learned that sometimes one has to fight.
But I was charged with being indifferent in face of a crime. You see, I didn’t even kill the mosquitoes and I threw away the cockroaches by taking them by their antennas. Now I have become a premeditated murderer.
Dear soft-hearted Sholeh, in the other world it is you and me who are the accusers and others who are the accused. Let’s see what God wants. I wanted to embrace you until I die. I love you.
Jabbari's heartbreaking story reminds us of what a real 'war on women' looks like. May she “Rest in Peace.”