Women and the death penalty in modern Iran.

 

The comparison between modern British girls and modern Iranian girls living less than 3,000 miles apart could hardly be more stark.
In Britain, a young woman can wear pretty clothes and makeup in public, talk on her mobile, smoke, go for a drink and have a boyfriend. If she gets pregnant, the state will look after her. If she commits a crime, the worst that can happen to her is imprisonment in a humanely run prison.
In Iran, she must cover her head at all times and may not wear makeup or do anything to display her femininity in public.  She may not drink alcohol or associate with boys and if she gets caught, she will be flogged.  If she gets caught having sex or gets pregnant outside marriage, she can be sentenced to death for adultery or moral crimes. If she commits murder or is involved in drug trafficking, she can expect to feel the hangman’s noose, perhaps in public.

It is claimed by feminist and human rights groups that Iran is one big prison for women.

 

The 1979 Revolution and the 1980’s.

Under the rule of the former Shah, a small number of women were hanged, mostly for murder. The Shah was deposed in 1979 and replaced by a fundamentalist Muslim regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini. He won a huge democratic majority for the formation of an Islamic Republic, on April the 1st, 1979. Under the new government, women were required to wear the veil, western music and alcohol were banned, and the punishments prescribed by Sharia law came into force.

Male and female executions became frequent – often for refusing to convert to or recognise Islam or for being a member of an anti-regime political group.

 

There are no accurate records of just how many men, women and girls were executed in the first years of the Revolution. There is a credible list of 14,028 names available and some sources claim figures of several tens of thousands, although these are not substantiated with names. According to a report published by the Organisation of Women Against Execution in Iran, at least 2,000 women were executed between June 1981 and 1990. They have been able to prepare a list containing 1,428 names. 187 of these women were under the age of 18, with nine girls under the age of 13 and 14 between the ages of 45 and 70. The youngest girl executed was just 10 years old. Thirty two of these women were reported to have been pregnant at the time of their execution. Many of those executed were high school and college students. Hanging was the most common method of execution for women, although some were shot. (Large numbers of men were shot during this period.)  Men and women were hanged in large groups in Tehran prisons from cranes and forklift trucks. Each crane jib or forklift had a wooden or steel beam to which the nooses was attached and when the preparations were complete, the prisoners were simply hoisted into the air.

Under Revolutionary law, young girls who were sentenced to death could not be executed if they were still virgins. Thus, they were "married off" to Revolutionary Guards and prison officials in temporary marriages and then raped before their execution, to prevent them going to heaven. The Mullahs believed that these women were ungodly and did not deserve paradise in the next life and that if they were deprived of their virginity, it would ensure that they went to hell.  Therefore, on the night prior to execution, the condemned girl was injected with a tranquilliser and then raped by her guard(s). After the execution, the religious judge at the prison would write out a marriage certificate and send it to the victim's family along with a box of sweets.

 

Generally details of executions from the early years of the Revolution are hard to find, the Borumand website lists 123 female hangings in Iran between 1980 and 1999, together with 171 executions by shooting and eight by stoning.  To search this website click here. 

The case of the ten women hanged in Shiraz in 1983 is well documented, however.  The “crime” of these women was to believe in the Bahá'í religion instead of Islam and to believe in the equality of men and women. These were considered to be very dangerous concepts by the Revolutionary regime who had them arrested and tortured in an effort to persuade them to convert into Islam. Several of them were subjected to the "bastinado" - beating on the soles of their feet.  They were all given the opportunity to avoid execution by recanting their faith and converting to Islam but none of them chose to.
On the night of June the 18th,1983, they were driven in a bus to a polo field on the outskirts of Shiraz where a gallows had been set up. The bus driver who took them there reported that they seemed to be in good spirits, singing on the way and prepared to meet their fate.

The youngest prisoner was Mona Mahmudnizhad, who was just 17 years old. Her father had been hanged some months earlier for his beliefs. At the execution ground, she asked to be hanged last so that she could pray for all the other women. Reportedly, she kissed the noose and recited a prayer before she was suspended. 
The other nine members of the group were :
23 year old Roya Ishraqi, a promising veterinary student, was executed with her 50 year old mother, Izzad Janami Ishraqi. 
20 year old Akhtar Sabit, a graduate nurse, who had taught children’s religious classes.

28 year old Mahshid Nirumand was a physics graduate from the University of Shiraz. She is said to have remained resolute in prison and to have shared her food with the others and encouraged them to remain firm.

Shirin Dalvand was 25 years old and held a degree in sociology from the University of Shiraz. Shirin was an expert in the Baha'i faith. Under interrogation, she was asked whether she would ever give up her religion - she told her questioner that she would hold to her faith. "Until my death, I hope that the divine mercy will enable me to remain firm to the last breath of my life ".

Tahirih Siyavushi was a 32 year old nurse, who had been a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Shiraz. Her husband, Jamshid, had been hanged two days earlier. As a nurse, Tahirih helped to look after the other prisoners.

20 year old Simin Sabiri, who had been a member of the Committee of Studies Baha' ies of Shiraz.

Zarrin Muqimi was 28 years old and also very knowledgeable about her faith, defending it vigorously under interrogation.

The oldest of the group was 54 year old Mrs Nosrat Yalda'I who had belonged to the Spiritual Local Assembly of Shiraz and whose house was regarded as the "nerve centre" of the Baha' ie Community in Shiraz. She had been viciously whipped during her time in prison and her wounds were still visible after her hanging. Both her husband and her son, Bahram had also been executed.

The town’s people of Shiraz groups brought flowers to the mortuary to honour the bravery of these women, despite the dangers of such a protest. The Bahá'í religion is still considered dangerous by the regime and is suppressed.

Click here for photos of these ten brave women (large file).

Dina Parnabi was an Iranian high school student, accused of smuggling forbidden literature and criticising the regime in her talks with her classmates. She was hanged on the 10th of July 1984 in a Teheran prison. The hanging was done in private and after the execution was over, her body was stripped, washed and delivered for dissection at the medical school. In Iran, female bodies delivered for medical studies often showed rope burns around their necks, indicating that they were all executed by hanging.

 

Hangings of women, mostly in their 20’s and 30’s, seemed to reach a peak in 1988, with no less than 95 traced by the Borumand Foundation.

 

Modern day Iran.

 

Through the 1990’s, reported female executions were rare but in the 21st century they have begun to rise.

Here are the details of the women who have been put to death in Iran in the 21st century.  All executions were carried out by hanging unless otherwise specified.

 

Name

Age

Crime

Date of execution

Masoumeh Fathi

-

Murder

26/01/2000

Alieh Moradi

-

Murder

26/01/2000

Fariba Tajiani Emamqoli

30

Drugs

19/03/2001 (in public)

Maryam Ayoubi

32

Murder & adultery

Stoned to death

Parvin Mirzaei

35

Murder

03/07/2001

Jamileh Assadpour

37

Murder

12/09/2001

Saeedeh Qassempour Malayeri

-

Murder

18/09/2001

Nasrin C.

-

Murder

08/10/2002

Unnamed

-

Murder

16/10/2002

Zahra Baghshirin & Farahnaz Yuly

-

Murder

29/12/2002 (in public)

Zinat al-Sadat

34

Murder

08/10/2003

Unnamed woman

-

Brothel keeping

25/01/2004

Diba Zomorodian

-

-

29/06/2004 (in public)

Monireh Ghasempour

-

-

11/07/2004 (in public)

Atefeh Rajabi

16

Moral/sex crimes (having sex outside marriage)

15/08/2004 (in public)

Roya

28

Murder of former husband

06/07/2005 (hanged in Isfahan prison with her boyfriend)

Akram N.
(18 at time of crime)

20

Murder of older woman

08/12/05 (hanged in prison in Shirevan)

Raheleh

 

Robbery/murder of woman & daughter

18/01/06 (Hanged with her husband, Babak in Evin prison, Tehran.)

Farzaneh Sadeqi

 

Murder

03/05/06 (hanged in public)

M.M.

 

Murder of husband

20/05/06 (hanged in prison with her male co-defendant)

Houriyeh

29

Murder of husband and in-laws

14/07/07 (hanged in public with 2 male accomplices)

Fakhteh C

30

Murder of her employer

17/10/07 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Zahra N

 

Murder of husband

19/12/07 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Raheleh Zamani

27

Murder of husband

02/01/08 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Shabnam Setayesh

34

Murder of husband

27/08/08 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Fatemeh Haqiqat-Pajuh

38

Murder of husband

26/11/08 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Masoumeh Ghale Jahi

33

Murder of husband

29/01/2009 (hanged in Rafsanjan)

Delara Darabi

23

Murder of relative

02/05/09 (hanged in Rasht Central Prison)

Zeynab Nazarzadeh

28

Murder of her husband

06/05/09 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Azita

30

Drug trafficking

13/05/09 (hanged in Qazvin prison)

Afsaneh

29

Murder of husband

20/05/09 (hanged in Shiraz prison)

Unnamed woman

-

 

15/07/09 (hanged in Qazvin)

Jamileh

25

Murder of husband

29/07/09 (hanged in Shiraz prison)

Khadijeh J. and Fouzieh J

-

Drugs

06/10 (hanged in Ahvaz with one man)

Soheila Ghadiri

27

Murder of her baby

20/10/09 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Beygum P.

-

Drugs

16/11/09 (hanged in Esfahan)

Shirin Alamhouli

28

Terrorism

09/05/10 (hanged with four men in Tehran’s Evin prison for planting a bomb)

Unnamed woman

-

Drugs

10/10/10 (hanged with 3 men in Zanjan)

Shahla Jahed

40

Murder

01/12/10 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Mahin Qadiri

-

Murder

19/12/10 (hanged in Quazvin for murder of five women)

Zahra Bahrami

46

Drugs

28/01/11 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison)

Adiva Mirza Soleyman Kalimia

54

Unknown

14/03/11 (hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison with her husband)

Leila Hayati

29

Drugs

28/09/11 (hanged in prison at Hamedan)

Roghiyeh Khalaj
Horiyeh Sabahi

32
35

Drugs

05/10/11 (hanged in prison at Hamedan with 5 men)

Unnamed woman

 

Drugs

29/11/11 (hanged in prison in Kermanshah)

Nahid A.

 

Drugs

24/12/11 (hanged in prison at Oroumieh)

2 unnamed women

 

Drugs

10/03/12 (hanged at Zahedan with 6 men)

A. A.

 

Drugs

16/05/12 (hanged in prison in Kermanshah with 6 men)

Safieh Ghafoori

28

Murder

12/07/12 (hanged in prison in Shiraz)

Unnamed woman

 

Drugs

03/12/12 (hanged in prison in Kermanshah with 2 men)

2 unnamed women

 

Drugs

27/01/13 (hanged in prison in Isfahan with 4 men)

Parinaz. M

-

Drugs

19/02/13 (hanged in prison in Shiraz with 7 men)

2 unnamed women

-

Drugs

22/04/13 (hanged in prison in Kermanshah with 2 men)

Giti Marami

34

 

22/05/13 (hanged in prison in Varamin and given 100 lashes)

Golafrooz Fayouj

-

Drugs

20/06/13 (hanged in prison in Shahr-e-Kord with 2 men)

5 unnamed women

-

Drugs

06/07/13 (hanged in Zahedan with 6 men)

1 unnamed woman

-

Drugs

09/09/13 (hanged in Orumieh with 5 men)

S. H, Z. S. & N. S.

-

Drugs

09/19/13 (hanged in Yazd with 5 men)

3 unnamed women

-

Drugs

25/09/13 (hanged in Urmia with 5 men)

Sydkhlyl Sadjadpour

43

Murder

27/09/13 (hanged in Rajai Shahr prison)

Nastaran Safari

26

Murder

21/10/13 (hanged in Kermanshah with 6 men)

Mitra Shahnavazi

-

Murder

30/10/13 (hanged in Karaj with one man)

A. A. & R. A.

-

Drugs

21/11/13 (hanged in Yazd with 4 men)

1 unnamed woman

-

Drugs

26/11/13 (hanged in Ghezelhesar prison with 10 men)

1 unnamed woman

-

Drugs

24/01/14 (hanged in Delfan prison with 2 men)

Farzaneh Moradi

26

Murder

04/03/14 (hanged in Isfahan prison)

Behjat

40

Murder

10/05/14 (hanged in Rajai Shahr Prison Karaj)

S. T.

28

Murder

28/05/14 (hanged in Amol prison)

1 unnamed woman

-

Drugs

22/08/14 (hanged in Zahedan with 2 men)

1 unnamed woman

60

Drugs

11/09/14 (hanged in Rasht with 1 man)

Reyhaneh Jabbari

26

Murder

25/10/14 (hanged in Rajai Shahr Prison Karaj)

Marziye Ostavari

-

Drugs

02/12/14 (hanged in Urmia with 3 men)

1 unnamed woman

-

Drugs

02/12/14 (hanged in Karaj with 10 men)

1 unnamed woman

-

Drugs

10/12/14 (hanged in Qazvin)

 

Iran is a signatory both to the International Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which explicitly forbid the execution of minors, however, Iranian law allows the death penalty for boys from age 15 and for girls from age nine. Girls and women can be sentenced to hanging either in private or in public, or to stoning to death. Under external pressure, minors now tend to be kept in prison until they are 18 and then have their death sentence carried out.

 

Let us have a look at the individual cases of these women.
Everyone of them died a painful and humiliating death, there being no effort made to minimise their suffering or make their execution in any way humane. Pictures of Fariba Tajiani-Emamqoli’s hanging and those of male prisoners show that an American style coiled noose made from modern nylon rope is used and that the prisoner is either stood on a bench or a box which is pulled from under them or hoisted into the air by a crane jib as happened with Fariba and 16 year old Atefeh Rajabi.

 

On the 26th of January 2000 when Masoumeh Fathi was hanged in the north western city of Tabriz for killing a prison warder during an escape attempt. On the same day, Alieh Moradi and her male accomplice, Farhang Moradi, were hanged in Kermanshah in western Iran, for the murder of Alieh’s husband. Her children were present in the prison grounds to watch their mother die.  Both executions took place within the prisons.

 

The first Iranian public hanging in the 21st century took place at dawn on the 19th of March 2001 when 30 year old Fariba Tajiani-Emamqoli and four men were put to death for drug trafficking in Tehran. Fariba was attended by a woman prison officer and was blindfolded and had her hands tied behind her back.  Like most public hangings nowadays, the hydraulic crane of a small recovery vehicle was used to hoist her into the air.  The whole process took 25 minutes, with the bodies being left hanging for 10 minutes before being taken down.  A crowd of about 200 gathered to witness the event and chanted "Allah akbar" - God is great and "death to the traffickers, death to the traffickers."

Click here for a series of photos of Fariba’s execution, in order 1  2  3 & 4.

 

35 year old Parvin Mirzaei suffered a similar fate in public in Kouhdasht in south western Iran on the 3rd of July 2001, having been convicted of killing a 65 year old woman in 1997. It said Mirzaei attacked the woman because she was afraid she had learned of her decision to run away from home. Mirzaei then fled to Nahavand, a city in western Iran, before she was arrested.

 

Iran also uses stoning to death as punishment for women and this horrific fate was meted out to 32 year old Maryam Ayoubi, who was stoned on Wednesday,  the 11th of July 2001, within Tehran's Evin prison.  Maryam had confessed to poisoning her husband with soup and then stabbing him to death with the assistance of her lover, who was hanged on the same day.

Women who are to be stoned are buried up to their shoulders in the ground and their head covered with a cloth.  The law specifies the size of the stones that are then hurled at their heads until they die from their injuries.

 

37 year old Jamileh Assadpour, who had strangled to death an old woman before robbing her house, was hanged in Tehran's Qasr Prison on the 12th of September 2001.

 

On the 18th of September 2001, Saeedeh Qassempour Malayeri and her lover Amir-Hossein Fadaie were to be hanged in Qasr Prison for the murder of her husband. However, Fadaie won a last minute reprieve and only Saeedeh was hanged.

Nasrin C. was hanged at dawn inside the prison at Tabriz on the 8th of October 2002, having been convicted of the murder of her sister-in-law.

On the 29th of December 2002, Zahra Baghshirin and Farahnaz Yuly were hanged within the prison in Gachsaran in south western Iran. They were condemned for taking part in the murder of the husband of a friend, who escaped with a three year jail term as she was not present at the time of the crime.

34 year old Zinat al-Sadat, a nurse, was hanged in a Tehran prison on the 8th of October 2003, having been convicted of strangling a 70 year old man and his 11 year old grandson in 1999. She had been employed to look after him and had killed him in order to rob him.

On the 25th of January 2004, an unnamed woman who had been convicted of running a brothel, was hanged in the city of Qazvin. She was given 80 lashes prior to her execution. It was claimed that she had been luring young girls and women into prostitution, and that she also made pornographic films involving her staff and clients while a search of her brothel turned up alcohol.

An unnamed 27 year old woman was hanged in Qazvin prison on Sunday, the 1st of July 2004 for the murder of her 78 year old father-in-law. In court, she had said she was constantly insulted by him. She was newly married and was living in her father-in-law’s house.

Monireh Ghasempour was reportedly hanged in public in Tehran on the 11th of July 2004, but the details of her crime are unknown.

Diba Zomorodian, a microbiology student was hanged in Qazvin (western Iran) on the 29th of June 2004, again there being no details of her crime. It is thought that an unnamed woman was hanged in Qazvin on July 12th, 2004.

A truly scandalous execution took place on Sunday, August the 15th, 2004, when 16 year old Atefeh Rajabi was hanged in public in the town of Neka.  Atefeh was executed for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity.”
Atefeh was not represented by a lawyer at her trial and efforts by her family to get her a lawyer were to no avail. She had to defend herself and told the religious judge, Haji Rezaie, that he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption and not the victims. She further enraged the judge by removing some of her clothing (probably just her headscarf) and he accused her of having a “sharp tongue.”  It is claimed that he pursued her execution beyond all normal procedures and finally gained the approval of the Supreme Court and the chief of the nation’s “judiciary branch.” Her age was given in official court documents as 22 but her birth certificate has been viewed by reliable sources and shows she really was just 16. Click here for her prison photo.
At the place of execution in the town’s square, the judge personally put the rope around the girl’s neck and gave the signal to the crane operator to begin her hanging.
Witnesses reported that she begged for mercy and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the execution truck. She repeatedly shouted, "repentance" which, according to Islamic law, is supposed to grant the accused the right to an immediate stay of execution while an appeal is heard.
Judge Haji Rezaie said he was pleased to hang her and is quoted as saying, "Society has to be kept safe from acts against public morality." Her body was left dangling from the crane for some time so people could see what happened to teenagers who committed acts incompatible with chastity.
It should be noted that, according to the Islamic Republic’s penal code, the presence of an attorney for the defense is mandatory regardless of the defendant’s ability to afford one.  Nevertheless, Atefeh did not get an attorney, despite the efforts of her father to raise money for one.  Atefeh’s boyfriend, who had been arrested as well, received 100 lashes and was afterwards released.

So what was Atefeh’s “crime”? It would seem that it amounted to having sex with her boyfriend.  According to judicial records, Atefeh had five previous convictions for having sex with unmarried men. For each offence, she had been jailed and flogged.  She confided in her friends that she had been abused by the guards in prison. A lawsuit was brought by Shadi Sadr, a lawyer representing the Rajabi family, against the judiciary for wrongful execution.  Sadr was also trying to bring a murder charge against the judge, Haji Rezaie.

 

On the 6th of July, Roya, 28, (female) and Mohammad, 30, (male) were hanged inside the prison in the central Iranian city of Isfahan.
Apparently, Roya had agreed to a "temporary marriage," permitted under Iranian law, to Mohammad Kouhpayeh, her employer. When the marriage contract expired, she married another man, also called Mohammad. Roya demanded that her former husband return some photos but he refused, and she and her new husband murdered him in 1999.

Akram N., a 20 year old Iranian woman, was hanged in prison in the northeastern town of Shirevan, on the 7th of December 2005.  She had been convicted of murdering an older woman, Maryam A., in December 2001. The death sentence was carried out at dawn in front of the religious prosecutor and judge.

2006 developments.

A 22 year old woman, identified only by her first name Afsaneh, was sentenced to death by hanging along with two men in the city of Qazvin on Thursday, the 5th of January 2006. Afsaneh was accused of seducing the men to murder her husband. She was 18 at the time.
On the 6th of January 2006, 18 year old Nazanin Fethehi was sentenced to be hanged for the murder of a man who had tried to rape her when she was only 17.  This sentence has been commuted but Nazanin has been ordered to pay blood money to the victim’s family.  She is appealing this decision.
On the 18th of January 2006, a young Iranian couple only identified as Babak, and his wife, Raheleh, were hanged in Tehran's Evin prison. They had been convicted of killing a 60 year old woman mother and her 13 year old daughter during a burglary in July 2003. They stole gold and jewelry and were caught after they made a getaway in the victim's car.
Farzaneh Sadeqi was publicly hanged on Wednesday the 3rd of May in western province of Lorestan for murder.

On Sunday the 21st of May, 2006 it was reported that a woman named Mahboubeh M. and a man was identified as Abbass H. were hanged in Iran’s north eastern province of Khorassan-Razavi having been convicted of murdering the woman’s husband.  It was reported in November by a state run newspaper that the couple were in fact stoned to death and not hanged.

It is claimed that four women were hanged on the 12th of June, although I have not been able to confirm this.  Three are unidentified and were said to have been hanged in Chobindar Prison in the city of Qazvin, west of Tehran, having been convicted of drug offences.  The fourth was identified as Farzaneh Youzan, who was hanged in a prison in southeastern town of Iranshahr, presumably for murder.

 

On July the 28th 2006 Shamameh Ghorbani, aka Malek, aged 34, was sentenced to death by stoning by a court in Orumieh. She was convicted of adultery and is currently in a prison in the town of Orumieh. Another woman in this position is 37 year old Ashraf Kalhari who languishes in Tehran’s Evin prison and has been sentenced to stoning after serving 15 years having committed adultery with her boyfriend who was convicted of the murder of her husband.  It is reported that her barbaric execution will be carried out at the end of July 2006, after only serving 5 years of her prison sentence.

 

2007 Developments.
On Saturday the 14th of July a 29 year old woman, who’s name was only given as Houriyeh was publicly hanged in north western Iran using the jib of a lorry crane, for the murder of her husband.  With her were two male accomplices, Farhad and Reza, whom she had hired to kill three of her in-laws.  Houriyeh was dressed from head to toe in a black chador and the executions drew some 5,000 spectators. This hanging was filmed and showed Houriyeh struggling hard for about a minute.
On Wednesday the 17th of October 30 year old Fakhteh C. was hanged for the murder of her employer, in private within Tehran’s Evin prison.  Eight men were also hanged there on that day.
On Wednesday the 19th of December Zahra N. was hanged in private within Tehran’s Evin prison for the murder of her husband, together with three men in unrelated cases.

 

2008 Developments.
27 year old mother of two, Raheleh Zamani was hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday the 2nd of January. She had killed her husband Mohammad in 2005 by beating his head with an iron bar after discovering he was having an affair with another woman. She then chopped up the body and hid the pieces in several containers. Raheleh had been due to be hanged on December the 19th along with Zahra N (see above), but was given a last minute stay of execution to allow her time to reach a “blood money” deal with her in-laws. Seven men were also hanged in Evin prison on the same day.
On the 27th of August Iran hanged Shabnam Setayesh, 34, in Tehran’s Evin prison, who had stabbed her husband to death after she found out that he wanted to divorce her and marry another woman.  Four male murderers were also hanged at the same time. 
On Wednesday 26th November Fatemeh Haqiqat-Pajuh was hanged together with nine men in Tehran’s Evin Prison for the murder of her temporary husband in 2001. She told police during interrogation that her motive was revenge after he raped her daughter from a previous marriage.  Iran’s State Supreme Court confirmed her death sentence on the 14th of November 2005. 
Eight men and one woman were hanged in Tehran’s Evin Prison, all for murder, on Tuesday 23rd December.  The woman, called Tayyabeh and said to be in her 30’s, was convicted of drugging and burying alive her seven year old step daughter.  She had confessed to this but later recanted her confession, claiming it was extracted under duress.

 

2009 Developments.
33 year old Masoumeh Ghale Jahi was hanged in the Iranian prison of Rafsanjan on January the 29th 2009 for the murder of her husband nine years previously. She claimed that the killing was accidental.
On the 2nd of May 2009 Delara Darabi, aged 23, was hanged at Rasht Central Prison despite a two-month stay of execution in the case issued on the 19th of April 2009 by the head of the Judiciary and International protests.  She had been convicted of the murder of her father's female cousin, Mahin, during a robbery in September 2003, at the age of 17, although it is thought that her boyfriend, Amir Hossein Sotoudeh actually committed the crime and that she initially confessed to save him.  She later retracted this confession.  Sotoudeh got ten years in jail for his part in the crime.  In contravention of Iranian law neither her family or lawyer were informed until after the execution had been carried out.
At dawn on Wednesday 6th of May Zeynab Nazarzadeh and three men were hanged in Tehran’s Evin Prison.  28 year old Zeynab was executed for the murder of her husband.

On Wednesday 13th of May a 30 year old woman named Azita was hanged with her male co-defendant Mohammad, for smuggling three kilograms of crack cocaine in a prison in Qazvin.

One week later on the 20th of May a 29 year old woman, identified only as Afsaneh, and three men were hanged in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz according to the Etemaad newspaper. She had been convicted of murdering and then burning the body of her husband, with the help of her lover, in July 2006.

An unnamed woman was hanged in Iran’s Qazvin prison on the 15th of July for killing her father in law four years ago.  She claimed the killing, which happened during a family dispute was unintentional but the victim’s family did not accept this and refused to pardon her.

On Wednesday the 29th July a woman identified only as Jamileh, aged 25 and one man were hanged in the prison of Shiraz (southern Iran) early, reported the Iranian daily Etemad. She had been convicted of murdering her husband in 2004

On the 6th of October, a man, Abdollah J. and two women, Khadijeh J. and Fouzieh J., all convicted of drug trafficking, were hanged in a prison in the south-western city of Ahvaz.

Iran hanged five convicted murderers in the Tehran's Evin prison on the 20th of October, including 27 year old Soheila Ghadiri who had been convicted of killing and chopping up her five-day-old son in 2006.  The trial court was told that she had been suffering from depression following the birth.  Soheila ran away from home at 14 and had been arrested in the past for conducting illegal relationships it was reported.

On Monday 11th November Beygum P. was hanged in a prison in the central city of Esfahan for drug trafficking together with two men, Vahid Sh., Rasoul T.

2010 Developments.
Kurdish born Shirin Alamhouli was hanged with four men in Tehran’s Evin prison on Sunday the 9th of May for planting a bomb under a car in a Tehran parking lot belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guards.

Iran hanged on Sunday the 10th of October 2010 a woman and three men in a prison in the northwestern city of Zanjan after they were found guilty of drug trafficking, the Fars news agency reported.

Shahla Jahed (age 40) was hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison at 5.00 am on the 1st of December for the 2002 murder of her football star boyfriend’s wife, Laleh Saharkhizan, in 2002.  Members of Laleh Saharkhizan’s family were present at the execution and it is reported that her son removed the bench from under Shahla Jahed’s feet leaving her suspended.  Her murder conviction had been overturned in 2008 but was re-instated the following year.  Shala maintained her innocence throughout.  The case gripped Iran as Nasser Mohammed Khani was a famous football player who had taken Shahla as a temporary wife. It is thought that 31 women remain on death row in Evin prison at this time.

On Sunday the 19th of December Iran hanged Mahin Qadiri, a female serial killer, in the central city of Qazvin. She had been convicted of murdering five middle-aged women between February 2008 and May 2009 and stealing from them for which she received 74 lashes. Reportedly she rendered them unconscious before strangling them.

2011 Developments.
On Saturday the 28th of January 46 year old Zahra Bahrami was hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison having been convicted of "selling and possessing drugs", the Tehran prosecutor's office said in a statement, adding that she had been arrested for "security crimes" in December 2009 after participating in anti-government protests while visiting relatives in Tehran.  Zahra had Dutch/Iranian citizenship and was visiting from Holland.  She was accused of bring cocaine into Iran from there.  At the time of her execution she was awaiting trial for her part in the protests.

On the 14th of March Adiva Mirza Soleyman Kalimia and her husband Varjan Petrosian were reportedly hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison although it is not clear on what charges.  A further two unidentified men and one women were executed with them.

Begom N. who had been convicted of trafficking 555 grams of heroin was hanged within prison in the city of Rafsanjan in Iran along with fellow trafficker Khodadad M. (male) on Thursday July 20th.

29 year old Leila Hayati was hanged for drug trafficking on September the 28th in Hamedan.

On October the 5th, 32 year old Roghiyeh Khalaj and 35 year old Horiyeh Sabahi were hanged there also for drug trafficking.

An unidentified woman was among six criminals hanged for drug offences in Iran on the 29th of November in Kermanshah.

On the 24th of December a woman identified only as Nahid A. was among seven prisoners hanged for drug offences in the north western Iranian town of Oroumieh.

2012 Developments.
A.A. was among seven prisoners executed on the 16th of May in Kermanshah for keeping and carrying 27 kilograms of heroin.  No other details of her were released.

28 year old Safieh Ghafoori (female) was hanged in Adel Abad prison in Shiraz early in the morning of 12/07/2012. Safieh Ghafoori was convicted of the 2006 murder of a young woman who she saw as a love rival.

 

An unnamed woman was hanged in the prison of Kermanshah, Iran, together with two men on Monday the 3rd of December.  All three had been convicted of drug trafficking.

 

2013 Developments.

27/01/13 Two unnamed women were hanged in prison in Isfahan with 4 men for drug trafficking.

 

Parinaz. M was hanged in Adel Abad prison, Shiraz on the morning of 19/02/2013 together with 7 men, all for drug trafficking.

Iranian state broadcasting announced that four prisoners, including two women, were hanged in Kermanshah’s Dizelabad prison on the 22nd of April. The prisoners who were not identified by name were "major distributors of narcotic drugs in the area" and had been convicted of possession of 2000 grams of heroin and 25000 grams of opium.

Giti Marami, age 34, was flogged and then hanged on the 22nd of May in Gharchak prison, Varamin, Iran.  She had been on death row for 13 years as has her male co-defendant who is yet to be executed.  It is thought that the flogging was imposed for adultery but details of the crimes committed by the pair are unclear.

On the 20th of June, Golafrooz Fayouj was one of four prisoners who were hanged in Shahr-e-Kord (western Iran) on Thursday June 20. She was executed with two men within the prison, whilst a third man was hanged in public, all for buying, possession and trafficking of 4534 grams of heroin.

 

An unnamed woman was hanged on the 9th of September in Orumieh with 5 men for drug crime.

 

Three women, S. H, Z. S. & N. S. were hanged in the prison yard of Yazd on Thursday the 19th of September, together with five men, all for drug offences.

On the 25th of September a further three unnamed women were executed in the Central Prison of Urmia in Iran, again together with five men, all for drug trafficking. 
Two days later, Sydkhlyl Sadjadpour, age 43 was hanged for murder in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, Iran.

 

26 year old Nastaran Safari was hanged on the 21st of October in Kermanshah prison together with six men, for a murder committed when she was 19.

 

Mitra Shahnavazi was hanged on the 30th of October in prison in the city of Karaj for the murder of a policeman 11 years ago.  Apparently the motive for the crime was sexual.
The following day two unnamed women were hanged in the Central Prison of Urmia, for drug trafficking.

 

Six prisoners among them two women who’s initials were given as A. A. and R. A. were hanged in the prison of Yazd (Central Iran), early Thursday morning, 21, November.  All had been convicted of drug trafficking.

Eleven prisoners, among them one unnamed woman, were hanged in the Ghezelhesar prison of Karaj (west of Tehran) on the 26th of November for drug offences.

 

2014 Developments.

During the week ending January 26, 2014. three prisoners including a women were hanged in the city of Delfan in Lorestan province for drug offences.

On Tuesday the 4th of March, 26 year old Farzaneh Moradi was hanged within the prison of Isfahan in Iran for the murder of her husband six years ago.  She had stabbed him to death as he slept, apparently to be able to be with her new boyfriend, Saeed, whom she later blamed for the murder.  In February 2014 she was given a one month stay of execution to give further time for negotiating a pardon with the victim’s family, which they ultimately refused.

A woman was hanged in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on Saturday the 10th of May, 2014.  She was identified only as Behjat (age around 40) and was convicted of murdering her husband with the help of a man named Mohammad Jafari who was hanged in the same prison 10 months ago.  Her two daughters and her father in law were present at the execution.  As is permitted under Sharia law it is reported that the father in law withdrew the chair from under her.

A 28 year old woman identified only as “S. T.” was hanged in the prison of Amol in Northern Iran on Thursday morning, May the 28th 2014. She had been convicted of murdering her husband during a fight.  Her mother in law pulled the chair from under her, having refused to pardon her.
Three prisoners including an unnamed woman were hanged in the main prison of Zahedan in south-eastern Iran on drugs charges on the 22nd of August.

A 60 year old woman and a 31 year old man were hanged in the prison of Rasht (Northern Iran) on the 11th of September.  She had been convicted of participation in buying, possession, trafficking and distribution of 3198 grams of heroin.

 

26 year old Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged in the Rajaishahr prison of Karaj at dawn on Saturday the 25th of October, reported the Iranian state media. She was sentenced to “qesas” (retribution in kind) for murdering 47 year old Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi in 2007, reported the state run Fars news agency. Reyhaneh had claimed that she stabbed Mr. Sarbandi in self defence when he attempted to rape her.  Mr. Sarbandi died from a single stab wound to the back.  His family refused to pardon Reyhaneh or accept blood money, both of which are permitted under Sharia law.  Reyhaneh had received two stays of execution to allow more time for negotiations.

On Tuesday the 2nd of December a female prisoner identified as Marziye Ostavari and three male prisoners and were hanged in the prison of Urmia (Northwestern Iran) all having been convicted of drug trafficking.  Also on this day an unnamed woman and her husband were among 11 prisoners hanged for drug offences in Karaj.

A woman identified only as F. Gh. Was hanged in the prison of Qazvin, Iran on the 10th of December for drug trafficking.

Comment.

There seems to be considerable contradictions between the Iranian government’s “official line” and the allegations of human rights groups as to what is actually happening in the country. There have been reports of death sentences passed on juveniles and of stoning sentences passed on women, despite assurances to the International Community that this horrific practice had ended in 2002.  In January 2005, at a weekly briefing for journalists to which some foreign media correspondents were invited, judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad, dismissed the allegations saying that, "in the Islamic Republic, we no longer face such verdicts and implementation of such verdicts." "I do not know how they get such baseless information and then make a fuss over it. The aim of such news is to harm Iran's image." There also seems to be a dichotomy between what senior ministers are saying for foreign consumption and what is going on at “ground level” with Islamic judges.
The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, quashed a stoning sentence for a woman convicted of adultery on October the 18th, 2004. Seema had been sentenced to stoning and 100 lashes for adultery and 15 years in prison for being an accomplice in her husband's murder. Her husband had been murdered by her lover. Shahrudi also reprieved a woman convicted of murdering and chopping up her husband in the same month.

The United Nations condemned Iran's record on public executions, floggings, arbitrary sentences, torture and discrimination against women, in a resolution in December 2004.  Many other bodies have done the same.  You will find endless websites condemning Iran’s human rights record.
So what are we to believe? I continue to monitor the situation and update this page with events as they happen.  Individual executions are reported monthly.

 

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