This past Saturday, Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old woman, was hanged for the 2007 murder of former Iranian intelligence official and doctor who she claims attempted to rape her. The execution was immediately condemned by various organizations and governments who had previously asserted the case was not properly investigated. Now, Iranian activist have distributed Jabbari's final message to her mother, and it's absolutely heartbreaking.
Jabbari recorded the voice message for her mother back in April. I guess five years on death row and a few delays in the execution is enough for a person to really come to terms with their own death as a miscarriage of justice. In the message, Jabbari states:
That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown 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 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.
Jabbari also alludes to the conditions and abuse she faced while in custody—the duress under which, as many claim, she confessed to stabbing her attacker.
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.
Then a final favor to ask of her mother:
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 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 embrace the death.
Jabbari then assures her mother that her vindication will come, just not within her lifetime. RIP Reyhaneh Jabbari. You can read the entire message here.