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Persian horror

This was the message that was posted on the Facebook page of an international campaign which was being run to save Reyhaneh Jabbari, the ill fated 26 year old Iranian woman who was hanged at dawn two days ago, after serving five years on death row for the alleged murder of a former intelligence official.

In complete defiance of mounting international pressure, Iran which took the extreme step was subjected to large scale criticism by international organisations like Amnesty International and United Nations. And why shouldn’t the Islamic nation be censured for this overt display of its theocratic might when around the globe it was being lambasted for going ahead with a kind of punishment which for long has been abandoned by many countries? If reports emanating about the alleged hanging are to be believed then it may become clear that Jabbari’s confession was obtained under intense pressure and threats from Iranian prosecutors.

How unfortunate is the fact that Jabbari who was an interior designer and was sexually abused by the intelligence officer at his house and who acted in self defence and has subsequently been accused of killing, found no mention when the Iranian authorities tried to justify the hanging. Even if the dead intelligence officer’s family is now trying in vain to save the name and honour of the family by saying that the murder was premeditated, how can an investigated confession by a UN human rights rapporteur in Iran be negated and family accounts be given preference? What kind of a society Iran has turned itself into comes out palpably in the fact that more than 250 people have been executed there since the beginning of 2014.

Iran must understand that capital punishment is only going to banish it further and that it might have to face severe repercussions from powers which are not natural allies. When Hassan Rouhani became the 7th president of Iran after Mahmoud Ahmedinejad demitted office many believed that an epoch of good governance had begun. But with this latest hanging and that too of a woman two things become very pertinent, one- Iran has regressed further and it has no place for women and two- the power concentration looks more like a suitable arrangement between the supreme leader Khamenei and president Rouhani.    
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