Let us band together to save someone from capital punishment. Let us not stand by and watch as a precious life is snuffed out.

Rayhaneh Jabbari is 26 years old. At age 19 she was charged with the murder of Morteza Sarbandi, a doctor and a former employee of the Ministry of Intelligence and Surveillance of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She was spent the last seven years in prison. Rayhaneh is the daughter of our beloved colleague, Teacher and theater actress, Sholeh Pakravan.

Rayhaneh was a set designer and to that end, Morteza asks her to a meeting in his office, in order to discuss an interior design project. Rayhaneh arrives at the meeting but after a few moments she realizes that the location has no resemblance to an office. Morteza then offers her some fruit juice (forensic tests conducted by the police during the investigation proved that the juice contained a form of Date Rape Drugs or Rufis) and after locking the door, he attacks Rayhaneh who out of fear, tried to defend herself by stabbing him in the shoulder blade. She then flees the premises. Morteza dies, following which Rayhaneh is tracked down and arrested.

An examination of the text messages exchanged between Rayhaneh Jabbari and Morteza Sarbandi proves Rayhaneh’s account which specified that prior to this incident, they had no relationship or connection and that Morteza had been in touch with her on work and business related matters.

Rayhaneh has spent long stretches in solitary confinement and has undergone brutal interrogations, endured physical abuse and has been pressured by her jailers to falsely confess to having murdered Morteza for political purposes. But she has stood her ground and has continued to maintain that she acted in self-defense.

Should Rayhaneh confess to a preconceived political murder?! When all the documents clearly prove that she did in fact act in self-defense, how then, based on all this evidence can this young girl be executed?

Based on Rayhaneh’s defense attorney and the ‘victim’s’ family, the case is filled with ambiguities. Hence, how and based on what, is it logical or rational for a judge to hand down a sentence of execution as a form of retribution?


The court has perceived Rayhaneh’s self-defense as murder with malice aforethought and has sentenced her to execution by hanging. We the below signatories of this statement, demand the immediate annulment of Rayhaneh’s execution and call for her case to be re-opened and re-examined by a fair and proper court of law. We stand shoulder to shoulder and steadfast with Rayhaneh and her family and lend our voices to a member of our cultural and artistic community; one of our own, who is enduring a crisis has our undying support.

1. Farshad Arya — Filmmaker
2. Farshid Aryan — Theater Actor and Legal Scholar
3. Gholam Al-Bouyeh — Playwright and Theater Director
4. Asgar Ahaneen — Poet
5. Massoud Assadollahi — Actor, Director, Producer
6. Mahmoud Oskouie — Cinematographer/Videographer
7. Maryam Afshari — Producer
8. Kourosh Afshar-Panah — Actor, Filmmaker
9. Hossein Afsahi — Writer, Director, Producer
10. Saied Oveissi — Actor
11. Khosrow Bagherpour — Poet, Writer
12. Abbass Bakhtiari — Managing Director of Pouya Cultural Center, Musician
13. Seema Bakhtiar — Actor
14. Majeed Beheshti — Actor, Director
15. Niloofar Bayzaie — Theater Director, Researcher
16. Farivar Tabrizi
17. Mansour Tehrani — Composer, Filmmaker
18. Hameed-Reza Javedan — Actor, Director
19. Mohammad Jalali — Poet, Writer, Theater Actor
20. Iraj Jannati-Ataei — Theater Director, Lyricist
21. Shayda Jahan-Been — Journalist
22. Banafsheh Pour’Zand — Researcher, Journalist, Filmmaker
23. Hadi Khorsand — Poet, Satirist
24. Hameed Daneshvar — Actor, Director
25. Rasheed Davari — Director
26. Gorafareed — Raconteur, Cultural Heritage Researcher
27. Geetee Darshkian — Theater Scholar
28. Hossein Daryanee — Theater Actor
29. Davoud Rahimee — Writer, Theater Actor
30. Ghazi Reebhavee — Children’s Writer, Playwright, Theater Actor/Director
31. Vonsha Roodbaraki — Painter
32. Sadreddin Zahed — Theater Actor/Director
33. Nasser Zeraatee — Writer
34. Saharvash — Singer, Composer
35. Helia Salahshour — Dancer, Theater Actress
36. Parvaneh Soltani — Director, Actress, Acting Coach
37. Ali Sharifian — Journalist, Actor, Theater Director
38. Nikki Sheikh — Actor
39. Darioush Shiravani — Filmmaker
40. Lily Shams — Sculptor, Painter, Designer, Make-up Artist
41. Neda Shahrivar — Actress
42. Mohammad Safarian — TV Director
43. Mohamma-Ali Talebi — Director
44. Nader Fawm — Actor
45. Azar Fakhr — Actress
46. Soosan Farrokh-Nia — Actress, Theater Director
47. Soodabeh Farrokh-Nia — Actress, Theater Director
48. Reza Ghassemi — Writer
49. Ebi Ghazi-Zadeh — Cinematographer/Videographer
50. Tara Koocheh-Radis — Visual Artist
51. Elnaz Kian — Writer
52. Faati Mohammadi — Actress, Theater Director
53. Shahrokh Meshkeen-Ghalam — Dancer, Actor, Director
54. Hossein Maheeni — Filmmaker, Managing Director of the Intenational Festival of Filmmakers in Exile
55. Farzi Naderi — TV Director
56. Manouchehr Naamvar-Azad — Actor, Director
57. Shaheen Najafi — Composer, Lyricist, Singer
58. Nasser Najafi — Writer, Director, Researcher
59. Arman Najm — Film Director, Producer
60. Jameeleh Nedayee — Director
61. Baseer Naseebi — Free Cinema
62. Kamran Nozad — Actor
63. Ramin Yazdani — Filmmaker

We will continue to gather signatures. Please support us by emailing: Honarmandan.Reyhane@gmail.com



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