Woman hanged for murdering ex-soccer star lover's wife 'had stool kicked away by his son' in gruesome Tehran jail execution
2nd December 2010
She prayed and cried in final moments after victim's assembled family denied last-gasp appeal for clemency
The barbaric scene that accompanied yesterday's execution of an Iranian woman who murdered a love rival has emerged.
Shahla Jahed, 40, was hanged at Evin Prison in Tehran yesterday morning, with her stool kicked away by the son of the woman she was found guilty of killing.
The former lover of Iranian soccer star Nasser Mohammad Khani, she had admitted to stabbing to death his 'permanent' wife Laleh Saharkhizan in 2002, although she repeatedly retracted the confession during her trial.
Human rights activists believe her confession was forced out of her.
Last-minute appeals for clemency were rejected by the victim's family, who were there to witness the execution.
Khani was also watching as Jahed spent a few moments in prayer with the noose around her neck before bursting into tears.
Then his son, whose age is not known, stepped forward and kicked away the chair to leave her dangling.
Asdolsamad Khorramshahi. Jahed's lawyer described the scene inside the jailhouse before her execution at 5am.
'Shahla just kept crying. She didn't say anything. I went forward and told her to talk but she only cried,' he told media.
'The victim's family did not give their consent [to proceed] until the last minute. All the people who were there were asked to forgive her but unfortunately they didn't accept. Naser Mohammad Khani was there too but said nothing.'
Attempts by the condemned woman's family to have her spared were rebuffed.
Jahed had had spent more than eight years - 3,063 days - and it is fair to say the drama had gripped the nation ever since Mrs Saharkhizan was found stabbed to death at her home.
Jahed was portrayed as an obsessed stalker, likened to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, at her trial in 2004, but she had also been the 'temporary wife' of the Iranian footballer, who won fame with a succession of league titles as player and coach with Persepolis FC, Iran's biggest club.
In the Shiite faith - the majority religion in Iran - men and women can marry for an agreed period of time.
Afterwards, the marriage is null and void, although it can be renewed, but there is an obligation for both to look after any offspring.
Men can have up to four permanent wives, and any number of temporary wives. Women can only be married to one man at a time.
Jahed during her 2004 trial in Tehran. She was found guilty of stabbing to death the 'permanent' wife of Iranian footballer Nasser Mohammad Khani
Karim Lahidji, the president of the Iranian League for Human Rights, today described her as 'a victim of a misogynous society'.
'Shahla Jahed has never had a fair trial in Iran and has always insisted that she is innocent,' he said.
'We are approaching Human Rights Day on December 10 and once again Iran is executing another woman. That's a clear signal that Iran wants to challenge the world on human rights issues.'
The London-based rights group Amnesty International had called on Iran to halt Jahed's execution.
A spokesman said yesterday: 'There are good reasons to suggest that she may have been wrongly convicted.'
Amnesty said that in early 2008 the judiciary overturned the verdict and ordered a fresh investigation, citing 'procedural flaws'.
However, Jahed was again sentenced to death in February 2009.
Khani was a prominent Iranian footballer in the 1980s and late became a coach for Tehran's Persepolis football club.
The execution comes as Sakineh Ashtiani (pictured) awaits her fate after being found guilty of cheating on her husband and then helping to kill him
The execution is thought to be the 146th so far this year, according to a count based on media reports. At least 270 people were executed in 2009.
It comes as Sakineh Ashtiani awaits her fate after being found guilty of cheating on her husband and then helping to kill him.
The international community, including most vociferously Carla Bruni, the French First Lady, has piled pressure on Iran to commute the 43-year-old mother-of-two's death sentence.
However, Iran has responded only by launching two scathing barrages of insults at Bruni, branding her an adulteress with a 'vastly immoral lifestyle'.
The Islamic republic says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.