Iran to Hang Woman for Killing Would-Be Rapist

Rayhaneh Jabbari maintains her act of self-defense didn't kill the man
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2014 11:50 AM CDT
Iran to Hang Woman for Killing Would-Be Rapist

It appears Rayhaneh Jabbari will not die today, but the 26-year-old Iranian woman's plight continues to grab international headlines. Jabbari has been sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of a would-be rapist, and Fox News yesterday reported that she managed to place a phone call to her mother saying she was being transported to Rajaiy Shahr Prison where she would be hanged. Her mother now tells Fox News that the execution has been delayed, as it previously was in April. Jabbari was at 19 convicted in the fatal stabbing of former Iranian Intelligence Ministry worker Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi and sentenced to death two years later, reports the Independent.

A petition aimed at saving her describes her version of the events: While at a coffee shop, Sarbandi allegedly heard her talking about her work as a decorator and asked her to come to his office to discuss a renovation. She says he instead took her to a decrepit building, offered her a drink laced with a sedative (human rights advocates say police testing confirmed this), and tried to rape her. Using a small pocket knife, she stabbed him in the shoulder and left. He bled to death and she confessed to murder under duress. Amnesty International writes that Jabbari did admit to stabbing Sarbandi once, but she says a second man was in the building at the time and is the true killer. Her supporters point out that considering Sarbandi's large size and the type of injury, her wound would not have done him in. (Meanwhile, Iran last week executed a 37-year-old psychologist, in part because of his take on the story of Jonah and the whale.)

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