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Parliamentarians discusses Iran executions

31 October 2014

DEMOTIX

Passionate: a woman holds a sign and gestures as she protests against attacks against Camp Ashraf, during a march to the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, on Saturday 

Passionate: a woman holds a sign and gestures as she protests against attacks against Camp Ashraf, during a march to the Federal Chan...

THE execution in Iran of a 26- year-old woman convicted of murdering a doctor whom she said had tried to rape her was among the human-rights violations discussed in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Reyhaneh Jabbari, a university-educated interior designer, was hanged in Tehran on Saturday. She was sentenced to death in 2009 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a doctor and a former employee of the Intelligence Ministry. She admitted stabbing him in the neck, but said that he had attempted to sexually assault her. Amnesty International described the trial and investigation as "deeply flawed".

Ms Jabbari told her mother that her last wish was that her organs should be donated: "I don't want to rot in the soil."

The case was discussed by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom on Tuesday. Mark Williams, the the Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion, said: "We must never lose sight of human rights when talking to Iran on nuclear issues."

On Monday, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, spoke of a "surge" in executions in the country in the past year. At least 852 individuals were reportedly executed between July 2013 and June 2014.

Mr Shaheed also spoke of his "increasing concern" about the situation of women in Iran. There have been multiple acid attacks against women in Iran this month. Social-media reports suggest that the women were targeted for not following the country's dress code. The Iranian authorities have denied this. The Guardian reported on Tuesday that assailants on motorbikes had thrown acid in the face of at least eight women driving in the city of Isfahan.

Nasser Jowrkesh, whose daughter Soheila was one of the victims, told BBC Persian: "The attack caused extensive acid burns on her face, forehead, both hands, and legs. She has lost her complete eye- sight in her right eye." The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, ordered an investigation into the attacks.

Last week, the Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay told the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, that the Government was "deeply concerned" about the "discrimination against . . . minority religious groups in Iran".

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