US condemns Iranian woman’s execution

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Washington (AFP) – The United States on Saturday condemned the hanging of a Iranian woman convicted of murdering a former intelligence officer she claimed had tried to sexually assault her.

“We condemn this morning’s execution in Iran of Reyhaneh Jabbari,” said the statement by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said there were “serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case.”

Among those concerns were “reports of confessions made under severe duress,” Psaki said.

Jabbari, 26, who had been on death row for five years, was put to death at dawn, the official IRNA news agency quoted the Tehran prosecutor’s office as saying.

The UN and international human rights groups have said her confession was obtained under intense pressure and threats from Iranian prosecutors, and that she should have had a retrial.

“Iranian authorities proceeded with this execution despite pleas from Iranian human rights activists and an international outcry over this case,” Psaki said.

“We join our voice with those who call on Iran to respect the fair trial guarantees afforded to its people under Iran’s own laws and its international obligations.”

The interior designer was convicted for the 2007 stabbing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi.

A UN human rights monitor said the killing came in self-defense after Sarbandi tried to sexually abuse Jabbari, and that the condemned woman’s trial in 2009 had been deeply flawed.

But a medical report, prepared for the judiciary and quoted by IRNA in its Saturday dispatch, said Sarbandi was stabbed in the back and that the killing had been premeditated.

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