Let us band together to save someone from capital punishment. Let us not stand by and watch as a precious life is snuffed out.
Rayhaneh Jabbari is 26 years old. At age 19 she was charged with the murder of Morteza Sarbandi, a doctor and a former employee of the Ministry of Intelligence and Surveillance of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She was spent the last seven years in prison. Rayhaneh is the daughter of our beloved colleague, Teacher and theater actress, Sholeh Pakravan.
Rayhaneh was a set designer and to that end, Morteza asks her to a meeting in his office, in order to discuss an interior design project. Rayhaneh arrives at the meeting but after a few moments she realizes that the location has no resemblance to an office. Morteza then offers her some fruit juice (forensic tests conducted by the police during the investigation proved that the juice contained a form of Date Rape Drugs or Rufis) and after locking the door, he attacks Rayhaneh who out of fear, tried to defend herself by stabbing him in the shoulder blade. She then flees the premises. Morteza dies, following which Rayhaneh is tracked down and arrested.
An examination of the text messages exchanged between Rayhaneh Jabbari and Morteza Sarbandi proves Rayhaneh’s account which specified that prior to this incident, they had no relationship or connection and that Morteza had been in touch with her on work and business related matters.
Rayhaneh has spent long stretches in solitary confinement and has undergone brutal interrogations, endured physical abuse and has been pressured by her jailers to falsely confess to having murdered Morteza for political purposes. But she has stood her ground and has continued to maintain that she acted in self-defense.
Should Rayhaneh confess to a preconceived political murder?! When all the documents clearly prove that she did in fact act in self-defense, how then, based on all this evidence can this young girl be executed?
Based on Rayhaneh’s defense attorney and the ‘victim’s’ family, the case is filled with ambiguities. Hence, how and based on what, is it logical or rational for a judge to hand down a sentence of execution as a form of retribution?
The court has perceived Rayhaneh’s self-defense as murder with malice aforethought and has sentenced her to execution by hanging. We the below signatories of this statement, demand the immediate annulment of Rayhaneh’s execution and call for her case to be re-opened and re-examined by a fair and proper court of law. We stand shoulder to shoulder and steadfast with Rayhaneh and her family and lend our voices to a member of our cultural and artistic community; one of our own, who is enduring a crisis has our undying support. [Read more...]