An Iranian policeman before a hanging [File].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
GENEVA- Iran defended its human rights record on Friday, striking back at the West for its criticism about a woman hanged for murder in an alleged rape case.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, was responding to calls from Western powers, including the United States, at a UN debate to allow freedoms of expression and religion, as well as their concerns at a rise in executions.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn on Saturday in Tehran's Evin prison for the murder of man she said had trid to rape her. The dead man's relatives refused to grant a reprieve within the 10-day deadline set by sharia law in force since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
"We were not successful to solicit forgiveness from the hearts of victims. So the execution went on. Though we are very sorry that two nationals lost lives, but capital punishment or 'qisas' is a unique particularity of our system. I think it worth Western countries to look into it," Larijani said.
"The idea that only good things in western community - the 'West and the rest' - this is a very destructive idea of human rights," he told the Geneva forum holding a regular review of Iran's record.