Shole Pakravan is a powerful human rights activist who will forever be a strong voice for her late daughter, Reyhaneh Jabbari,who was unjustly executed on October 25, 2014, for defending herself against a government rapist. Her story will be featured in my new book, "Dear God: Please bring freedom to Iran."
Shole Pakravan is a well-educated, open minded woman, and a real fighter! She fights for righteousness, humanity, freedom and most importantly, fights against capital punishment in Iran. Capital punishment is the satanic adversary that shadowed and oppressed her life and her family’s life for 7 long agonizing years until it fastened its noose around her beautiful daughter’s neck in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj. When Reyhaneh Jabbari was unjustly executed, Shole was determined to become a strong voice and a fierce opponent of the death penalty that has claimed the lives of thousands of young people in the Islamic Republic.
Since her daughter’s execution Shole has become a dedicated anti-death penalty activist, standing up and supporting the mothers who have lost their children in the unjust and fake courts that are controlled by cruel Mullahs! Shole is also a dramatic actress, director, and a loyal mother and wife.
One sultry hot summer day in July 2007, Reyhaneh was assaulted by a former intelligence agent who had lured her under false pretenses to an empty and abandoned house. Terrified of being raped, when Morteza Sarbandi physically attacked her, Reyhaneh defended herself by stabbing him in the shoulder with a knife, and then managed to escape. Sarbandi bled out and died from his stab wounds. Unfortunately, Reyhaneh was completely unaware that the Islamic authorities are always prepared to victimize one innocent figure in order to conceal their own devilish deeds. Iran is a very man-centered society and the reputation of a member of the intelligence ministry is far more important than the accusation of a “so-called” rape victim. Reyhaneh refused to change her story from rape to consensual sex and that sealed her fate. She was arrested at 19 and at the age of 26, she said goodbye to her life and her family in the early morning hours of October 25, 2014 after a seven-year imprisonment. She proudly and courageously faced the noose on the gallows and her spirit flew away to rest in peace.
By executing Reyhaneh, The Iranian regime intended to scare all girls to let them know that they cannot resist the sexual harassments of government agents. A powerful message was sent that women would be severely punished and executed for yelling rape!
They killed Reyhaneh, the beautiful and kind girl who was described by many prisoners and even jailors, as the one with a bright sign of hope and taught many solitary women prisoners the ways of mutual respect. They murdered her in order to put hope, generosity, and kindness to death. However, they did not realize that Reyhaneh was actually a seed planted throughout Iran’s soil. They only killed one Reyhaneh, whereas thousands of “Reyhanehs” have grown and multiplied like seeds that have blossomed into lovely flowers.
In 2016, Shole was summoned before the Ministry of Intelligence and warned by the authorities that there would be grave consequences for her other daughters if she continued to speak out against executions. Shole had been busy posting pictures one her Facebook page showing her standing in support of other mothers who had lost their children to executions. Realizing the danger that her activism was causing her family, Shole and her daughter Shahrzad secretly fled into Turkey and applied for asylum. After several months, through the hard work and connections of other human rights activists, they were accepted by the German Immigration board and were able to leave Turkey. Today, both Shole and Shahrzad are busy studying the German language and assimilating as refugees in their new home. They are hoping that soon the rest of their family can join them in Germany.
In remembrance of her courageous daughter, Shole has written a powerful and moving tribute describing her commitment to never stop being a voice for Reyhaneh:
“Inspite of all of the agony that I have gone through, I am well prepared to fight for your honor. I’ll never stop being your voice since you opened my eyes! As I promised you, now my hands are your hands, my feet are your feet, and my voice is your voice.
You have already forgiven the judges and tormentors and murderers, but I can never forgive the one who suppressed you, invented false allegations, and signed your execution order, prepared the gallows, and tightened the noose that stopped you from breathing. I want them to punished in this world and be sentenced for their crimes, so that no other mother will ever have to see their child being executed before their own eyes.
Now your soul has been integrated into my whole body and I’ve dedicated my life to reclaiming your honor. Even after a thousand years, every single particle and dust of my essence will continue to cry out your name. I will live to see your victory over this dictatorship government.
At dawn, on the 25th of October, 2014, you were standing in the middle of execution field atf Rajaar Shahr prison with your hands tied, staring at your murderers with your beautiful brown eyes, and you shouted, “You may take my life, but you can never pollute it with the shame of surrender!”
Although you are gone, now is the time to proudly announce that the “Reyhan Foundation” in Europe is formally registered on the internet. The Reyhan Foundation supports all of those sentenced to death, and the families of rape victims. This foundation will be a strong voice for the families of the executed and also those who have been the victims of rape. It is my duty and commitment to you to fight as long as it takes to put an end to the horrible executions in Iran.”
To read the complete story of Reyhaneh’s tragic life and execution, you can purchase the book, written by Randy L. Noble on Amazon. Com. It is entitled, “Reyhaneh: A beautiful fragrance.”