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To Execute a Victim of Attempted Rape

by Majid Rafizadeh

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A few days ago, the United Nations and various international human rights groups joined a growing call for the Islamic Republic of Iran to halt the execution of a woman scheduled for Monday.

Iran’s court has sentenced Reyhaneh Jabbari to death for the 2007 killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, who was a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Jabbari was acting in self-defense against Sarbandi, who attempted to rape her, and she never received a fair trial and due legal process.

According to testimony of “reliable sources” and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sarbandi hired the 19-year-old Jabbari, an interior designer, to work in his office. While Sarbandi was attempting to sexually harass and rape Jabbari, a struggle began, and she stabbed him.

Therefore, Jabbari was sentenced to death for her action under the Islamic judiciary system of Iran. Why would a young professional woman be executed for defending herself against unwelcome actions from her superior, a sexual abuser?

The profound irony, and the peak of the Islamic Republic’s hypocrisy, became clear this week in a speech marking Women’s Day, when Iranian president Hassan Rouhani made international headlines by condemning any form of sexual discrimination and advocating for equal opportunities and rights for women.

According to Fars News, while speaking at the National Forum on Women Shaping Economy and Culture in Tehran Rouhani pointed out, “We will not accept the culture of sexual discrimination.”

The liberal and mainstream media took these remarks as promoting and projecting a democratic and humane image of the Iranian president.

According to the 104-page UN report and UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran Ahmed Shaheed, the number of executions of women and the number of prisoners on death row has increased under President Rouhani’s rule.

Beyond these sweet remarks, President Rouhani did not even scratch the surface of women’s rights regarding the actual day-to-day discrimination that women face in the Islamic Republic….

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