NEWS UPDATE: The execution has been postponed, probably due to increased global attention, not to mention your fervent prayers. While this case smacks of injustice and cruelty, it is only one of many, and this prisoner is surrounded by countless others who are suffering deeply. Kindly remember them all in your prayers and conversations, so that the balm of justice and comfort may soon come their way.
Reyhaneh Jabbari may be executed as early as tomorrow for killing a man in 2007. She was taken to a building by a man who posed as a potential interior design client, and there he attempted to rape her. Finally, she grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him. The man, who worked for the Iranian intelligence agency, died in hospital days later. She was arrested shortly thereafter:
As soon as I arrived at the Police Headquarters three large men were waiting for me in a small room. As soon as I entered, they handcuffed me to a chair and made me sit on the floor... They took turns screaming, "You think you are smart? People more important than you have been broken here. You insect, who do you think you are? Answer every question loudly...
I could feel something on my back and my skin swelling getting ripped. I felt a burning sensation and screamed until my ears hurt from the sound of my own screams. I did not hear the lash of the whip. I do not know if they were beating me with a whip, a rope or a piece of wood. I never learned what those three monsters were burning me with. I could only hear myself screaming. With my hands tied higher than my body to the chair, the pain and burning made my arms numb...
Winter was cold this year; it coincided with the prison's heating system breaking down. In our ward, all you could hear was chattering teeth, coughing, sneezing.... The chattering teeth reminded me of 2007, when I was 19, in solitary confinement, with wounds all over my body, and shaking from anxiety and fear ... I was questioned mostly by two men whose names I never found out. They would dictate [my confession] and I would write. Once they took me somewhere for interrogation where I saw a 14 or 15 year old girl hanging from the ceiling from her wrists. The girl was pale, her lips were cracked. She was whimpering.
[In another room,] the interrogator sat across from me and said that today or tomorrow they would go get my little sister... He referred to her by name: Badook. "It is her turn," he said. "She is frail, thin ... How long do you think she will last hanging like that one?" He began telling me in detail what he was going to do in front of me to my little sister ... I started crying and begged him not to do such a thing. He said he had no alternative. I asked him what I could do to stop him from hurting my sister. He said: "It is very simple. Just confess that you bought the knife before the murder". ... So I wrote that I had bought the knife beforehand, signed the paper and breathed a sigh of relief.
Interestingly, there is no such thing as a self-defense plea under these circumstances, so she has been charged with first-degree murder. Her files have gone missing (which included lab evidence of a drink he had prepared for her laced with sedatives) and of course the "confession" was coerced after torture and threats against her family.
There is a petition to save her from the death penalty here. And prayes for all those enduring horrific conditions in Iranian jails. God grant them justice and consolation.
UPDATE: a sympathetic guard lent her a phone for a farewall call to her mother.
“I am currently handcuffed and there is a car waiting outside to take me for the execution of the sentence,” Jabbari told her mother, whose recounting in Farsi was translated by FoxNews.com. “Goodbye, dear Mum. All of my pains will finish early tomorrow morning. I’m sorry I cannot lessen your pain. Be patient. We believe in life after death. I’ll see you in the next world and I will never leave you again because being separated from you is the most difficult thing to do in the world.”
The distraught mother wrote that she called the prison to ask what she could do and was told to come Tuesday to collect her daughter’s body.
I know you will pray.