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Iran Hangs Woman for Killing Alleged Rapist

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Iranian Reihaneh Jabbari attends her trial in Tehran in 2008. According to the allegations, Jabbari killed her rapist with a knife in an act of self-defense in July of 2007. The court sentenced her to death for committing murder, and she was executed Saturday.
Iranian Reihaneh Jabbari attends her trial in Tehran in 2008. According to the allegations, Jabbari killed her rapist with a knife in an act of self-defense in July of 2007. The court sentenced her to death for committing murder, and she was executed Saturday.Goalara Sajadieh / dpa via AP file

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Iran hanged a woman on Saturday who was convicted of murdering a man she alleged was trying to rape her, drawing swift international condemnation for a prosecution several countries described as flawed.

Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn for premeditated murder, the official IRNA news agency reported. It quoted a statement issued by the Tehran Prosecutor Office Saturday that rejected the claim of attempted rape and said that all evidence proved that Jabbari had plotted to kill Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence agent.

The United Nations as well as Amnesty International and other human rights groups had called on Iran's judiciary to halt the execution, which was carried out after the country's Supreme Court upheld the verdict. The victim's family could have saved Jabbari's life by accepting blood money but they refused to do so.

According to her 2009 sentencing, Jabbari, 27, stabbed Sarbandi in the back in 2007 after purchasing a knife two days earlier. Britain, Germany, and a group of European parliamentarians, among others, condemned the execution, as did the United States. "There were serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case, including reports of confessions made under severe duress," State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Image: Iranian Rayhaneh Jabbari executed
Iranian Rayhaneh Jabbari takes the stand at her trial in Tehran in 2008.GOLARA SAJADIEH / EPA

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