GENEVA, Oct. 31, 2014 – Iranian victims and activists who attended today’s UN review of Iran in Geneva today reacted sharply to the presentation of chief Iranian delegate Mohammad Larijani, who blamed the West and its “media blitz” for Iran’s execution on Saturday of 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari, and insisted she had a fair trial.
Iran was praised glowingly by many delegations, including from Syria, Yemen, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Belarus, Vietnam, and Palestine. Click here for quotes.
> Click here for reactions on video of the Iranians listed below
> Selected quotes below
“I was Reyhaneh Jabbari’s lawyer. Mr. Larijani’s statement is completely false. It is not true that she had a fair trial. Because the deceased in this case belonged to the intelligence services, the court treated the case differently, and gave undue weight to the prosecution. Key evidence in the case, and basic legal principles, were ignored.”
— Mohammad Mostafaei, Iranian human rights lawyer who was forced to flee the country after being persecuted by the authorities for his defense of individuals facing the death penalty. Mr. Mostafei was the first lawyer of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old woman who was just executed by Iran on Saturday for allegedly killing the man who was trying to rape her. Mr. Mostafaei is the founder and director of Norway’s Universal Tolerance Organization. In 2011, he was awarded PEN’s Ossietzky Prize.
“Listening to Iran’s delegates today, I felt they were competing with themselves as to who would tell the biggest lie. Seeing the Iranian representatives, I felt like I did at my own trial, when they said you have to thank God a million times this is not the 1980s, or you would have been executed. When I was in prison they always said to me, whoever stands up against the 12th imam will be put up against the wall and shot. What these representatives are saying is to justify that mentality.”
—Sepideh Pooraghaiee,Iranian journalist and human rights activist who was jailed for 110 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Ms. Pooraghaiee recently fled Iran, finding asylum in France, after she was threatened by the government for reporting on its crackdown against peaceful protesters. “I was in danger because I know the truth,” she says. “And it was bad for them.”
“Iran’s statements sound like a work of fiction. When Iran says there is no torture in the country, as I was sitting in the room, it was as though I did not exist.”
— Marina Nemat, Iranian dissident, former prisoner of conscience and best-selling author, now living in Canada, who was jailed as a political prisoner in Tehran when she was only 16 years old. During her incarceration for two years in the infamous Evin Prison, she was interrogated, tortured, faced execution, and was raped by a prison guard who she was coerced to marry.