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Transcript of hanged Iranian woman's final message released

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Transcript of hanged Iranian woman's final message released


The last message Iranian woman Reyhanah Jabbari recorded for her family just minutes before she was hanged in Tehran has been released by an unknown source. The source of the recording remains unknown. The entire transcript written by Jabbari has been published.

The 26-year-old, convicted of murdering an older man, went to the gallows at dawn on Saturday in Tehran’s Evin prison after failing to secure a reprieve from the victim’s family.

Jabbari was sentenced to death for killing the man in 2007. She accused him of trying to rape her as a teenager.

The conviction sparked international condemnation and there were demands for the Iranian government to get Jabbari’s sentence commuted.

The hanging comes at an inopportune time for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has been attempting a rapprochement with the West after decades of hostilities rooted in Tehran’s nuclear programme and human rights record.

“Dear Sholeh, today I learned that it is now my turn to face Qisas (the Iranian regime’s law of retribution). I am hurt as to why you did not let me know yourself that I have reached the last page in the book of my life. Don’t you think that I should know? You know how ashamed I am that you are sad. Why did you not take the chance for me to kiss your hand and dad’s?

The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night I should have been killed. My body would have been dumped in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power. Then you would have continued your life suffering and ashamed, and a few years later you would have died of this suffering and that would have been that.

However, with that cursed blow the story changed. My body was not thrown aside, but rather into the grave of Evin Prison and its solitary wards, and now the grave-like prison of Shahr-e Ray. But give in to the fate and don’t complain. You know better that death is not the end of life.

You taught me that one comes to this world to gain an experience and to learn a lesson and with each birth a responsibility is put on one’s shoulder. I learned that sometimes one has to fight. I remember when you told me a story from Nietzsche, the philosopher, about when he protested to a carriage man who was flogging his horse, but the flogger hit the lash on his head and face…(not audible) and he taught us that for creating a value one should persevere even if one dies.

You taught us that as we go to school one should be a lady when faced with quarrels and complaints. Do you remember how much you emphasised the way we behave? Your experience was incorrect. When this incident happened, my teachings did not help me. Being calm in court made me look like a cold-blooded murderer and a ruthless criminal. I shed no tears. I did not beg. I did not cry my eyes out since I trusted the law.
But I was charged with being indifferent in face of a crime. You see, I didn’t even kill mosquitoes and I threw cockroaches away by taking them by their antennae. Now I have become a premeditated murderer. My treatment of the animals was interpreted as being inclined to be a boy and the judge didn’t even trouble himself to look at the fact that, at the time of the incident, I had long and polished nails.

How optimistic was he who expected justice from the judges! He never questioned the fact that my hands are not coarse like those of a sportswoman, especially a boxer. And this country that you planted its love in me never wanted me and no one supported me when, under the blows of the interrogator, I was crying out and I was hearing the most vulgar terms. When I shed the last sign of beauty from myself by shaving my hair I was rewarded: 11 days in solitary.

Dear Sholeh, don’t cry for what you are hearing. On the first day in the police office when an old unmarried agent hurt me for my nails I understood that beauty is not looked for in this era. The beauty of looks, beauty of thoughts and wishes, a beautiful handwriting, beauty of the eyes and vision, and even beauty of a nice voice.

My dear mother, my ideology has changed and you are not responsible for it. My words are unending and I gave it all to someone so that when I am executed without your presence and knowledge, it would be given to you. I left you much handwritten material as my heritage.

However, before my death I want something from you that you have to provide for me – with all your might and in any way that you can. In fact, this is the only thing I want from this world, this country and you. I know you need time for this. Therefore, I am telling you part of my will sooner. Please don’t cry and listen. I want you to go to the court and tell them my request. I cannot write such a letter from inside prison for it would not be approved by the head of the prison; so once again you have to suffer because of me. It is the only thing that, even if you beg for it, I would not become upset although I have told you many times not to beg to save me from being executed.

My kind mother, dear Sholeh, the one more dear to me than my life, I don’t want to rot under the soil. I don’t want my eye or my young heart to turn into dust. Beg so that it is arranged that as soon as I am hanged my heart, kidney, eye, bones and anything that can be transplanted be taken away from my body and given to someone who needs them as a gift. I don’t want the recipient to know my name. Buy me a bouquet, or even pray for me. I am telling you from the bottom of my heart that I don’t want to have a grave for you to come and mourn there and suffer. I don’t want you to wear black clothing for me. Do your best to forget my difficult days. Give me to the wind to take away.

The world did not love us. It did not want my fate. And now I am giving in to it and embracing death. Because in the court of God I will charge the inspectors, I will charge inspector Shamlou, I will charge the judge, and the judges of the country’s Supreme Court that beat me when I was awake and who did not refrain from harassing me. In the court of the creator I will charge Dr. Farvandi, I will charge Qassem Shabani and all those who, out of ignorance or with their lies, wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn’t pay heed to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it.

Dear soft-hearted Sholeh, in the other world, it is you and me who are the accusers and others who are the accused. Let’s see what God wants. I wanted to embrace you until I die. I love you.

April 1, 2014”

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