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Iran hangs woman despite plea

01 December 2010, 19:12

Tehran - The lover of an Iranian soccer star was hanged for murder on Wednesday, despite pleas by international rights campaigners for clemency, a news agency reported.

Shahla Jahed was convicted of stabbing to death the wife of Nasser Mohammadkhani, a striker for the national side during the 1980s and former manager of Tehran's Persepolis team.

Jahed was the "temporary wife" of Mohammadkhani under Iran's Islamic law, which allows men to have up to four permanent wives and an unlimited number of temporary wives.

Women are permitted to have only one husband.

Laleh Saharkhizan was murdered in 2002 when Mohammadkhani was touring Germany with Persepolis.

The report said Mohammadkhani attended the execution, carried out at dawn in Tehran's Evin prison, when the victim's brother pulled Jahed's chair out from under her.

"Whatever my children and Laleh's mother say is okay with me," the newspaper Mellat-e Ma quoted Mohammadkhani as saying before the execution. "The killer of my wife should get the appropriate punishment."

Jahed protested her innocence in an interview with Mellat-e Ma a few days before her execution.

Amnesty International, which made a last-minute appeal against the sentence, said: "There are good reasons to suggest that she may have been wrongly convicted. She should not be made to pay with her life."

Jahed's case has some similarities with that of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani whose sentence to death by stoning for adultery was suspended after an international outcry but who may still be hanged for involvement in the murder of her husband.

According to Amnesty International, Iran is second only to China in the number of executions it carries out. At least 346 people were executed in Iran in 2008.

- Reuters


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