Iranian women have to deal with more than their fair share of repression and stress while living in their home country under sharia law. Between forced marriages and avoiding the scrutiny of the Basij, Iran’s morality police/civilian paramilitary force, Iranian women have found ways to shine bright even though there are obstacles in the way. However the law is still one of the places where the backwardness of the country’s opinions towards human rights truly shows; a woman had been sentenced to death for killing a man who tried to rape her. The woman’s execution has actually been postponed in the minutes leading up to it and it’s a potential sign of a shift in Iranian legal tradition and, possibly, a liberalizing of a very conservative system.
The news that Iran was going to go through with the execution of Rayhaneh Jabbari came at a time when Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran who won with the seeming intention to liberalize and modernize Iran, was at the UN General Assembly and attempting to paint his regime as more moderate and forgiving than previous ones. It took both the humiliation of the president as well as an international petition of over 200,000 signatures for Iranian officials to postpone the execution which hasn’t been called off and might happen anyways. When you look at the evidence that’s available from the trial, it further proves that this is a cover up of sorts and that justice isn’t truly happening. The man was a former member of Iranian intelligence and police found evidence of a date rape drug in the glass that he gave Jabbari. Jabbari has been tortured in prison and is still facing a possible death sentence by hanging. Even though Rouhani is trying to show the regime in a more moderate way, this case along with the fact that executions and human rights violations have increased under his leadership point a very different picture.
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